Yates Conwill Pinot noir Own Roots
Purely Domestic Wine Report 98 points
From an own rooted block, the nose is a juicy cherry, lilac and plum with excellent focus and notes of herb. The palate is pure blackberry and currant with exceptional concentration and balance. Drink 2018 – 2028.
Two block blend of Wadenswil and Pommard grown on their own roots.
100% Pinot noir
70 percent whole cluster
Native primary and secondary fermentation
21 months in barrel
33 percent New French Oak
72 cases produced
Grape plants are vines and vines are tenacious. Most all vinifera is now grafted onto “rootstock” chosen for its ability to resist phylloxera as well as specific water intake characteristics. This makes for an economically safer vineyard. The plants within this Own Roots bottling are cuttings taken from the neighboring vineyard currently known as Resonance Vineyard. You cut off the fruiting cane in the winter and stick it in the ground in the early spring. Most all cuttings will take hold and these obviously did.
Anecdotally, I find that vines growing on their own roots not only ripen later but also do not seem to take on more water when it is not needed. I have yet to see these berries split during large downpours such as we had in 2013. Perhaps that is why my wines from Yates Conwill Vineyard did so well with the critics that year.
Light and translucent in color. Aromatics offer forest floor, raspberry, freshly mown hay, and sun-warmed red plums. The entry is almost too smooth and is followed closely by flavors of cinnamon toast with blackberry jam, what an odd, yet intriguing combination. The classic Yates Conwill signature of Umeboshi is obviously present, just like the “Field Blend” but this, “Own Roots” leans toward the Chinese version known as Sweet Li Hing Mui “dried salted plum” version over the Japanese pickled version. More finesse-full, if that is a word than previous Yates Conwill Vineyard Pinots, an embrace compared to a bear hug. After one hour much more mellow. Subtlely complex would describe this lovely wine.
Color: Limpid ruby red with clear edges
Aroma: Dried cherries, rhubarb pie, freshly poured concrete
Entry: mouth enveloping then, slightly subtle tingling of crisp, acidic, wild plums.
Flavors: Once warmed, marshmallows, red plum jam on a crusty English Muffin with burnt ridges.
Mouthfeel: Lush then juicy acidity
Finish: Great length with an obvious plum tartartin, if anyone actually ever made one with plums.