The fruit shines through with touches of spice reflecting our early picking decision. The 2014 Moss Oak Pinot Noir is a nice play between light and dark fruit with a rustic, long finish. The coolness of the appellation echoes with each sip.
As we taste each individual lot of wine from the myriad of distinct blocks on our Bell Mountain Estate Ranch, we discover that certain parts of the vineyard are best as components for limited release offerings. These micro blocks are identified and, over time and experimentation, they become part of our Small Lot Collection.
Our sustainably-farmed estate has less than an acre planted to Pinot Noir Clone 777, which has the reputation as the most aromatic of the Pinot Noir clones. These specific blocks are on the Russian River Valley side and are some of the coldest, with the early morning fog continually racing in. As you walk through these vineyards, there is a majestic oak tree shrouded with moss. It is this tree that we named our Small Lot Collection Pinot Noir after – Moss Oak.
With the 2014 vintage, we continued our practice begun in 2013 of whole berry fermentation.
One of the benefits of this process is no crushed or cracked seeds that add astringent tannins. The resultant wine is softer and with more varietal character. The Moss Oak Pinot Noir continues to be unfined and unfiltered.
The aromatics are complex from the start with caramel, freshly cut hay, blueberry, and black raspberry. The opening flavors unfold in layers with lemon tea, cardamom, melting caramel, trumpet mushrooms, and a kirsch-soaked cherry from a Manhattan. It has Old World expression of earth and terroir, yet deeply connected to its Russian River Valley roots. The fruit shines through with touches of spice reflecting our early picking decision. The 2014 Moss Oak Pinot Noir is a nice play between light and dark fruit with a rustic, long finish. The coolness of the appellation echoes with each sip.
Sunshine was the dominant theme for vintage 2014 with little rain throughout the growing season. Warm temperatures in late winter caused an early budbreak. Perfect weather in May (no wind or rain, plenty of sun) created ideal conditions for consistent bloom, veraison, and ripening, which is what we hope for every year. A bit of rain in September suspended harvest momentarily giving our grapes the extra time on the vine that is perfect on the Ranch. Harvest flew by and was completed on October 21st. Gorgeous color, concentrated flavors, and a nice range of acidity are the hallmarks for this excellent vintage.