2016 Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey
Black Cherry, Mushroom, Vanilla
- 3 days cold soak (30% whole cluster)
- Fermented 12 days in plastic open-top bins
- Fermented warm to 85 degrees
- Punched down 2–3 times daily
- Aged 11 months in French oak (60% new)
George Troquato, Winemaker & Alejandro Aldama, Cellar Master
Pinot Noir is an early maturing, cool climate variety that is associated with both the Burgundy and Champagne regions of France. The clones planted at Tondre Grapefield are Pommard 4 and 777. Pommard 4 produces wines more in the Old World style, with earth, loam, and mushroom character; whereas, 777 is a Dijon clone that brings a bright, fruity character to Pinot Noir.
Tondre Grapefield is located on the east side of the Santa Lucia Highlands in the cool northern part of the Salinas Valley. This vineyard is a newer planting of Pinot Noir vines in mainly sandy loam soils. The vines are planted 20 degrees north-south and east-west, allowing maximum, even sun exposure.
2016 saw more rainfall than in the previous five years, bringing some relief to an ongoing drought. Temperatures on average were warm, producing grapes that were fully ripe with above-average crop size.