2017 Pinot Noir 'Roberts Road'
The Sangiacomo Family began to develop this beautifully situated Pinot Noir Vineyard in early 2000, and determined that this cool weather spot in the Petaluma Gap would be ideal for the variety. They took it a step further when they dedicated a single acre of the vineyard to what has been known for years as the ‘Swan Selection’, a version of Pinot Noir brought directly from Vosne-Romanée to Joe Swan’s original vineyard in Forestville, site of some of the greatest bottlings of pinot Noir in California history. The budwood brought from France was never heat-treated for leaf-roll virus, so even today it brings with it a set of genetic characteristics that have as much to do with Burgundy as California. We arranged through Mike Sangiacomo to purchase the entire crop from the block planted to ‘Swan Selection’, and with Tadeo’s old-world practices, we’ve crafted a Pinot Noir named for the vineyard’s location on Roberts Road that in some vintages is eerily Burgundian in aroma and flavor.
The grapes were harvested at 23.6 Brix and 0.60 total acid on September 21, and they were fermented – using only native, wild yeast -- with 50% stem retention, and the must manually punched down for six weeks. After pressing, the new wine was aged for one year in 40% new François Frères barrels, then bottled in November 2018 with neither fining nor filtration.
The Roberts Road Pinot Noir is grown in combination soils of sandy loam with Basalt, and the characteristics of the ‘Swan Selection’ seem even more obvious as a result. The wine is dark – in this vintage almost broodingly so – and seems to shimmer as you swirl it. The aroma is jammy and ripe, and the flavors are many and complicated, a combination of roundness, minerality and depth. The finish is soft and long, with a trace of coffee and peach. - Bruce Neyers