2018 Pinot Noir 'Roberts Road'
"The Pinot Noir harvest was late in 2018, so we didn’t finish picking these grapes until the end of the second week of October. I’ve learned to take that as a good sign for this variety though, as much of the character of Pinot Noir relies on the acidity in the wine. A late harvest for us invariably means that the natural acid level has remained high.
Pinot Noir is a variety that wine lovers appreciate for its fruit, and for good reason. During the fermentation process, the organic acids in the grapes are converted to fruit esters by a chemical process called ‘esterification’. Esters are the compounds that give fruit their characteristic aromas, so the smell of a banana, for example, is due almost entirely to the presence of a simple ester. The odor of a pineapple is likewise due to the presence of a fruit ester, and despite their apparent complexity, most of these compounds are relatively simple to a winemaker. They are also volatile, so they evaporate easily, and the aroma is readily apparent, even to unsophisticated wine tasters. Why go into all of this technical mumbo jumbo? For the simple reason that it explains why Pinot Noir is so easy to love by so many consumers. I adore the aroma of well-made Pinot Noir. If I could afford to drink Grand Cru red Burgundy every night, I might. Fruit esters in Pinot Noir are invariably more plentiful than in other red wines, and we have learned to like that characteristic, just as we are drawn to sweetness in some foods.
A cool weather growing season like 2018 will normally produce attractive Pinot Noir. But there are many other things to love about Pinot Noir -- that soft texture, the range of flavors that capture everything from tropical fruit to coffee beans, the miraculous way it makes so many foods taste better. Try a bottle of Pinot Noir with your Thanksgiving turkey and you’d be doing yourself a favor. An old friend used to host an annual Prime Roast of Beef dinner, and he’d spend hours arranging the date, making a guest list, and then preparing the meal. The wine was never in question though – it was always Pinot Noir.
We made only 230 cases of the 2018 Pinot Noir ‘Roberts Road’, and each bottle is likely to play an important role in someone’s dining memory." - Bruce Neyers