2016 Saffron Fields Vineyard Pinot noir

New Art Label for my higher-end wines. This is Julia Wayne’s interpretation of the vineyard map combined with our favorite Google Earth view. The green sections depict my blocks within Saffron Fields that I have leased since 2011 and the wine offered is made from these blocks.

I sent out a number of these unlabeled bottles to my customers and had them write reviews. This was a great exercise in learning the palates of my customers as well as the local variations in analogies and comparisons combined with vernacular which I had to ask to be defined into normal English. A fun exercise for all!

The Process:

Four barrel blend of spontaneously fermented Pinot noir all in two ton stainless steel fermentation vessels. Early punch-downs and pump-overs then one per day followed by a hand punch-down once the juice has made the turn into wine. Minimal extraction without any additions. Free-run was moved via gravity to French Oak for secondary fermentation where it resided for 11 months before going to bottle. 110 Cases produced. 72 remain.

The Wine:

Oregon Notes: November 2017: very pleasant nose, soft texture, smooth. Cherry but more of a red than black with a subtle brightness. Some green notes. Pleasant lingering finish. Wondering with time will this have a second ‘note’? (as in only one note now) Like a trombone holding a long deep note. Excellent pairing with the Stilton showing sufficient acidity to nicely offset the richness of the cheese.

New York Notes from January 2018: A nice young pinot with a nose starting to show fruit, more pronounced after breathing. Smooth texture with a long essence. Berry presence has a blackberry and a warmth. Very young and will develop with age. Great color on this will like to see where this ends up especially since it had such great early nose. Effusive aromatic quality.

Texas Notes from May 2018: Lovely Earth tones. Blackberries. Cherries, Black raspberry, blueberry, plum, black pepper with lemon in the background. Warm tobacco. Sitting by a fire. Cool after-tones. Poignant. Pomegranate. Penetrating. Too bold to be intriguing. Lingering. Gives me the chills. Exhilarating. Oily legs.
Wintery day cozy. Perfection! After time raspberry turned into red currant. Initial darker fruit then more bright strawberry over time. Clings to the back of the throat. Long finish. Evolution of flavors on the tongue. Slides from note to note. Lingering. Can live anywhere in between notes, not defined to just one. Bigger from aeration. Earthiness. Lush.

Iowa Notes October 2018: Earthy mushroom. Dark fruit. Blackberry. Cedar. Underneath is earthly, fresh mushroom aroma, after the rain in the woods smell, fresh and invigorating. Sexy.

Jay’s Notes: Great big, HUGE mouthful of wine: juiciness then massive fruit, then a slight leaning out causing salivation then wave upon wave of big and dark fruit: black plum, blackberry, black fig, then it keeps going and going and going, like the Energizer bunny. Amazing texture: not necessarily heavy, just perfect mouthfeel allowing for pockets of new flavors to burst open now and then. Has grip and good fine-grained tannin level. This will last. Perfect acidity.

My favorite comparison, and noted TWICE within others notes was the trombone quote. I asked the originator what they meant when they said the wine was like a trombone. They replied; “Most musical instruments have keys, or notes and the change is obvious. This wine changed in a smooth and linear fashion like a trombone moving its strong sound with a sliding effect from low to high and back again. The transitions were seamless.”

I loved this analogy. The first time I have ever read it or heard it. They get a six-pack for free.