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 2018 GROWING SEASON:
After an abnormally dry winter, March weather transitioned to abundant rains and cold temperatures, which kept the grapevine growth several weeks behind normal. Warm weather returned in May and enabled the grapevines to grow rapidly with healthy canopies. Early August saw the return of more normal weather with warm days and cool nights. We began picking the grapes in September, with above average quality fruit characterized by vibrant acidity and good flavor concentration. Our 2018 Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir reflects this vintage with depth of color and beautiful flavor structure and development.
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) for up to nine months. After the wine underwent malolactic fermentation, weracked it twice before making the final blend.
Deep ruby red in color with scarlet highlights, Clark & Telephone opens with bountiful aromas of red fruits of cranberry and raspberry jam, laced with clove, cedar, and holiday baking spices. Bold and complex flavors of crushed ripe cherry, cranberry and blueberry pie linger on the palate. The texture is rich and lively, and leads into a warm and structured finish.
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