The 2020 vintage started out warm and average in terms of both rainfall and temperature. As Spring continued, the weather cooled and became very mild creating near perfect conditions for flowering and fruit set. However, the lack of late Spring rains began the drought pattern, and the vines feeling this, began to accelerate their maturity. This coupled with an increase in heat during late July and into August, resulted in an earlier than initially anticipated harvest season. The vintage was fairly small in quantity following two larger years and the resulting quality was very high. The early harvest and coastal proximity spared the majority of Anderson Valley fruit from the damage caused by wildfires throughout the state.
The grapes were handpicked in early September, transported in the cool morning hours to the winery, sorted and then de-stemmed directly into open top fermentation tanks. 25% of the fruit was included whole cluster. The grapes were slowly allowed to warm as the native yeast naturally began the fermentation process. The tanks were then punched down by hand twice daily for 22 days, extracting color, flavor, and a sense of terroir from the skins into the developing wine. As the fermentations reached dryness, the wine was gently pressed off its solids in a small-basket press and then allowed to settle before being transferred to barrel. Upon completion of malolactic fermentation, the following spring, the wine was once again separated from any lees, blended, and returned to barrel for the remainder of its aging. After 22 months in barrels, the wine was bottled in June, 2022.
The 2020 Ella’s Reserve is focused and floral delivering a complex Pinot Noir with a wonderfully round mouthfeel. Intense aromas of cranberry, strawberry jam and bramble mix with violets and rose petal on the nose. On the palate, fruity flavors of pomegranate, black cherry and plum mix with earthy components of tobacco leaf and black tea. Smooth tannins and a supple mid- palate linger with raspberry, while the vibrant acidity provides a long mineral finish.