2017 Pinot Noir 'Placida Vineyard'
“Chuy Ordaz was born to grow grapes, and for the better part of the past 50 years that
is exactly what he’s done. Chuy farms almost 500 acres of grapes grown in vineyards
from Glen Ellen to the Russian River Valley. His heavily calloused hands and his
face tanned and weathered from countless hours among the vines tell you all you
need to know about his commitment. I think his shining hour though comes when
you look at his Pinot Noir vineyard in the loose, sandy-loam Goldridge Clay on the
south side of the Russian River Valley. He named the vineyard after his daughter,
and its location at the eastern mouth of the river and on its south bank both play to
the strengths of Pinot Noir. Here the soil is especially low in nutrient, and the cool
temperatures and dry conditions are both important to the variety. We harvested
the fruit from Placida on September 20 in 2017, so even in a warm year there was
sufficient hang time to get complete maturity.
We retain about 50% of the stems in this Pinot Noir, and along with the native yeast fermentation, we do a manual punch down for 35-40 days before we drain the tank and press the must. The wine then ages for 12 months or so in François Frères barrels—we like about 40% of them be new. The finished alcohol this year is 13.6%, the acid level is 0.57%, and we bottled —unfined and unfiltered. I like to compare this bottling with a red Burgundy from the Côte de Beaune, a Volnay or Pommard, for example, as these wines often have a darker hue and a more penetrating nose than those from the heavier limestone soils of the north. Be prepared for a thrilling experience here. This is a Pinot Noir you don’t want to miss.” —Bruce Neyers