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 2019 GROWING SEASON:
An abnormally cold and rainy winter brought much-needed precipitation to Southern California but delayed bud break and early grapevine growth into late March. The weather quickly changed to sunny, warm, and dry in April, which caused rapid grapevine growth into early May. Mid-May saw the return of very wet, cold weather and record amounts of rainfall. Mild early summer weather transitioned to a hot August, but the marine layer allowed the grapes to ripen evenly and retain their natural acidity. We were able to start harvesting the fruit in mid-September and completed harvest on the second week of October.
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, we racked it twice before making the final blend.
2019 CLARK & TELEPHONE PINOT NOIR:
Deep ruby red in color with lush aromas of ripe cherry, nutmeg, and dark chocolate laced with clove, cedar, and lightly toasted oak. Bold and unctuous on the palate with dark ripe fruit, baking spices, cocoa, and blueberry pie filling. The texture is rich and velvety which leads to a long, structured finish.