The Clark & Telephone Vineyard was established in 1972 and planted with ‘own root’ Martini clone vines. Located, just 13 miles from the ocean and situated on a west-facing slope, this vineyard experiences weather patterns that pull from west to east to bring cool fog and coastal breezes inland until August when Santa Ana winds begin. This climate makes for later-ripening and longer-hanging grapes with a delightful fruitiness, great acidity and underlying flavor nuances that contribute additional complexity. Due to intensive pruning and crop-thinning, the vines produce loose clusters with small, intensely flavored berries. The result is dense, dark-berry fruit and abundant, sweet, baking-spice characteristics that are synonymous with the Martini clone.
THE 2017 GROWING SEASON:
Abundant winter rains helped the growing season get off to a good start. High temperatures and humidity arrived in late August and continued into harvest. We began picking the grapes in the third week of August, with fruit quality above average and characterized by small berries with good color and concentration. Clusters were also smaller than normal, resulting in generally lower yields. Our 2017 Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir reflects this vintage with classic varietal color, character, structure and acid balance, along with a breathtaking concentration of flavors and aromas.
We harvested early in the morning so the fruit would arrive at the winery while the grapes were still cool to preserve the vineyard-fresh flavors. After de-stemming, but not crushing, the berries, we cold-soaked the fruit for up to two weeks to soften the skins and allow for ideal extraction. During fermentation in a combination of closed and open-top stainless steel fermenters, we used both punch-downs and pump-overs to extract color and tannins, and also to control temperatures and maximize flavors. We aged the wine in 100% French oak (60% new, 40% seasoned) for up to nine months. After the wine underwent malolactic fermentation, we racked it twice before making the final blend.
Bright ruby red with fresh, vibrant aromas of wild blackberry, raspberry jam and cedar box accented by rich floral notes. This wine is juicy and generous on the palate with sweet cherry, field-ripened strawberry, cranberry and just-baked gingerbread. Perfectly balanced with bright acidity and a supple mouthfeel. Fine grained tannins provide an authentic textural distinction and structural depth.