Vaughn Duffy Wines  
2010 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, Desmond Vineyard
Retail Price $39
  2011 Pinot
In 2011 we started working with Stori Vineyard, a small two-acre vineyard in the town of Graton that is essentially in the backyard of grape grower Brian Jacobs. The vineyard is just north of Sebastopol in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley AVA. This area has a history of apple production—many of today’s best Pinot and Chardonnay vineyards sit on land formerly used for apple farming. Go one mile in any direction from Stori and you will find the vineyards for Merry Edwards, Dehlinger, Paul Hobbs, Keefer Ranch and many more. The microclimate of Green Valley gives Pinot Noir the best of both worlds during the growing season—cold nights and foggy mornings that quickly lead to warm afternoons.

Stori Vineyard was planted in 2001 and is entirely comprised of clone 115. This clone is known for producing grapes with bright fruit character and good levels of natural acidity. The 2011 vintage was the second cold year in a row for grape growing on California’s North Coast. We had a wet and prolonged spring, and not much of a summer. While these conditions led to mold and ripening problems in many vineyards, Stori made it through unscathed. The vineyard sits on a gentle west-facing slope and gets plenty of afternoon sun exposure.

We harvested the vineyard on September 26 and both cluster sorted and berry sorted the grapes in the winery to ensure only the best grapes went into the fermenter. The grapes were destemmed completely and we ran a moderate Saignée on the wine to concentrate the must. After our normal six-day cold soak we warmed the must by putting the fermentation bins in the sun on a hot day. This made the native yeast population happy and the fermentation dance soon began. When fermentation was complete we moved the wine to French oak barrels, a third of which were new. After eight months in barrel we racked all the barrels off the lees sediment and blended in 10% Pinot Noir from Suacci Vineyard to add some pop and complexity. The wine then was returned to barrel for six more months of aging and we bottled 79 cases unfiltered and unfined on January 10, 2011.

Initially the aromatics are of baking spices, mushroom and cherry candy and with air the rose petals take over the initial influence of the new oak. Similar flavors follow through on the palate and juicy acidity provides good structure leading to a smooth finish. We think this wine will age gracefully for 6-8 years from the vintage date.

Click here to download the tech sheet for the 2011 Pinot Noir

2011 Rose of Pinto Noir Sonoma County
Retail Price $15
In 2012 our focus with our Rosé program was twofold. We wanted to increase our production and we wanted to make Rosé from whole cluster pressed grapes. These two things went hand in hand. Our first two vintages of Rosé were made entirely from Pinot Noir and done in the Saignée method, meaning we took the pink juice from freshly crushed Pinot Noir grapes that were going to be used to make red wine. The whole cluster press method is what some describe as the “real” method of making Rosé. The grapes are picked at ripeness levels specifically intended for Rosé and the grapes are pressed off the skins immediately. We think both methods can make outstanding Rosé, and our 2012 version has proved just that.

Since we have had great success with the Saignée method, we didn’t abandon it, we just supplemented the wine with Syrah that we purchased for our Rosé wine and whole cluster pressed the grapes. The resulting wine is a blend of 65% Pinot Noir Saignée and 35% Syrah whole cluster pressed. We fermented all of the wine in separate lots using old French oak barrels. The wine was aged in the neutral wood for three months before it was assembled for bottling. When tasting the wine we find layers of flavor that we attribute to the multiple Pinot Noir lots, as well as the Syrah. The finished wine shows tropical notes of melon and mango, and has a gentle way about it. The will be best consumed within one year of its release. We think it’s our best Rosé yet.

Click here to download the tech sheet for the 2012 Rosé Wine

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