Arista Winery

California: Russian River Valley, United States

Pinot Noir, Ferrington Vineyard, Anderson Valley – 2014

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • The Ferrington Vineyard, one of California’s most acclaimed Pinot Noir vineyards, sells its fruit to eight wineries and is tucked away just off Highway 128 in Booneville, a small town in the heart of the Anderson Valley. Though 25 acres of the vineyard are planted to multiple clones of Pinot Noir, we have selected a block in the vineyard that was planted to the Pommard clone because of its proven legacy in this cold-climate appellation. Pommard is one of the oldest Pinot Noir clones found in California and is favored by many winemakers for its ability to produce outstanding wines without the help of other blending clones. It is respected for its reliable color, intense fruit and fragrant spice components. The vineyard has a gentle south-facing slope, and has decomposed sandstone and clay soils with three to four feet of topsoil. This vineyard was originally planted in the late 1960s, although some of the 25 acres of Pinot Noir vines were planted in 1998 and some more recently.

  • Vintage Report

    • 2014 was our second full year of drought in the North Coast, and not surprisingly, the growing season was dry and warm. Everything was early in 2014: Dry soils and mild spring weather resulted in one of the earliest initiations of budbreak we’ve seen in years. That trend continued throughout the season, as we stayed several weeks ahead of average all the way through the onset of harvest in mid-August.

      A benefit of a dry, early year is that berry size is kept in check. 2014 was characterized by small Pinot Noir clusters containing many small, but highly flavorful berries. With small berries, we get a higher skin-to-juice ratio which leads to more extraction of flavor, color and aroma.

  • Vinification

    • Cold grapes arrive at the winery early in the morning after having been picked at night. The clusters are sorted by hand and then destemmed into small, open-top fermenters. The juice is allowed to warm gradually and naturally in the fermenter. Given that all of the wines are made with native yeasts and are not inoculated, this cold-soak period can vary between five and eight days depending on how long it takes these native populations to build up and begin fermentation. Pinot Noir fermentations are kept below 85 degrees. The wines always go through malolactic fermentation. The wines then spend the next 11 months in barrel. Seventy percent of these are François Frères, 15 percent are Sirugue and 15 percent are Chassin. The new oak component ranges from 30 percent for the appellation wines to 40 percent for the vineyard designates. The wine is racked clean just prior to bottling.

  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
    • Alcohol: 14.6%
    • TA: 5.3g/L
    • p H: 3.79
    • RS: <1.0g/L
  • Tasting Notes

    • The 2014 Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir is dark and intense, both visually and on the palate. A nose of brambly wild berry, forest floor, cola, pencil shavings and blackberry preserves is complemented by flavors of cranberry, black plum, pomegranate and espresso. The mid-palate is silky and rich, leading into a long, layered finish. With time in the glass, secondary aromas of ground cinnamon, cedar and griotte cherry begin to emerge. Pleasantly chewy tannins and tangy acidity provide the structure for this Pinot Noir from one of the most historic vineyards in the famously cool Anderson Valley. Peak drinking window: 2016 through 2026.

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Reviews

  • Pinot Noir, Ferrington Vineyard, Anderson Valley – 2014

    A nose of brambly wild berry, forest floor, cola, pencil shavings and blackberry preserves is complemented by flavors of cranberry, black plum, pomegranate and espresso. The mid-palate is silky and rich, leading into a long, layered finish.

  • Pinot Noir, Ferrington Vineyard, Anderson Valley – 2014 – 92 points – Wine Spectator Insider

    “Though marked by dusty, savory herb and cedar notes, the intense fruit core rises to the occasion, fanning out and extending to gravelly earth and snappy berry flavors. The finish brings the elements together in a tightly focused presentation…”

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