Mitsuko's Vineyard Pinot Noir
Carneros, Napa Valley
The wine possesses distinctive aromas of fresh black cherry and red mulberry accented by baker's spices, brioche and roasted nuts. The wine is silky and seamless in the mouth, with pitch-perfect acidity balancing the opulent mouthfeel. The wine's complex and exotic flavors invite contemplation while simultaneously providing immediate satisfaction.
Vineyard & Vintage Notes
A third consecutive winter of low rainfall started the 2008 season. Budbreak was slightly later than average, with most signs of green growth not showing until the first week of April, rather than the more typical March. The interval was short before the commencement of the flowering and fruit set period in late May, punctuated by a heat spell in the high 90s and brisk winds. The warmth certainly encouraged fruit-set, and all varieties were completed in less than ten days after bloom, giving great consistency to the individual berry development. Summer in 2008 was undoubtedly hot, with multiple heat spikes over 100 degrees. The harvest commenced with a bang after a heat wave in late August/early September though the weather then moderated to a long and mild fall. Yields for Carneros Pinot Noir were low, at an average of less than two tons per acre, producing wine of magnificent concentration.
Mitsuko's Vineyard, located south of Highway 121 in the cooler part of Napa Carneros, has proved to have an abundance of ideal sites for the Burgundian varieties Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Purchased as bare land in 1989, we have continued to refine our plantings to maximize the potential of the site. As part of this ongoing development, in 1994 we began to experiment with a diverse range of clones of Pinot Noir, giving complexity and finesse to our blend. The most important clones come from the University of Dijon collection – 777, 828, 115 and 667 all contribute to the symphony of flavors and textures in the wine. In addition are the Pommard and Swan field selections, whose consistent ability to make great Pinot Noir in California for decades.
Hand-picked and delivered early and fresh to the winery, these precious grapes are destemmed back into picking bins and gently tipped into the waiting fermentation vessels, in essence gravity-fed, without pumping or harming the delicate fruit. A long cold soak ensues before the native yeast begins churning sugar into alcohol.
Gently plunging these wines steadily put on weight as well as extract until, at the appropriate time, they are lightly pressed and sent to barrel for 10 months or so of mellowing. Allowed to rest on their lees, these wines are neither blended nor decanted until bottling. The goal, as always at Clos Pegase, is to present these wines unfined and unfiltered with their full allocation of aromas and flavors left intact.