2017 Benevolent Dictator Pinot Noir
The winter of 2016-2017 brought us unusually heavy and welcome rainfall after several years of drought. Budbreak kicked off the growing season as the rains let up, approximately 10 days later than in 2016. The vines were thirsty from several years of drought and the abundant rainfall helped refresh our groundwater and set the stage for an historical harvest season. The growing season throughout the spring and early summer was fairly typical throughout the valley, with the one exception of a random, yet uneventful hail storm. Our Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes were all harvested before sustained periods of high heat arrived in September, and long before the wildfires raced through Northern California in early October. The 2017 vintage will likely be remembered as one of the most historical vintages that Northern California has ever seen. While the yields are slightly lower for the 2017 vintage, the wines produced from it are powerful, balanced and extremely high in quality.
Exuberant aromas of ripe Bing cherry, black berry and fraises du bois harmonize with playful notes of cola, cinnamon and baking spice. Layers of red rose petal emerge with hints of bay leaf, toasted marshmallow, hickory and clove. A lush, ripe core of black cherry and dark berry jam is concentrated yet balanced upon entry. Chai, eucalyptus, black tea, wild iris, and allspice evolve from its red fruit core and expand into a broad, velvety mid-palate of summer cherries and cola. This near-perfect vintage brings zesty brightness, sultry black fruit and subtle minerality. A jubilant, lingering finish of vanilla and lightly toasted brioche exit gracefully on silky tannins.
Appellation: 100% Russian River
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir, 50% clone 667 and 50% clone 777
Cooperage: 100% French oak, 50% new, 50% 2-year French oak
Production: 715 cases