2009 Renteria Pinot Noir Knittel Vineyard
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard: 100% Knittel Vineyard, Los Carneros, Napa Valley
Harvest Date: September 4, 2009
Brix at Harvest: 25.5
Finished pH: 3.59
Finished TA: 5.65 g/L
Cooperage: 35% New French Oak (Burgundy Barrels)
Winemaker: Karen Culler
Production: 310 cases
Release Date: Summer 2012
VINEYARD: The Knittel vineyard is located in a prime Napa Carneros site. It has all of the aspects of a perfect Pinot vineyard: planted on an east facing, gentle hillside on clay soils in a cool microclimate, to 5 different Pinot Noir clones. The different clones not only add complexity but also impart various sensory components to the wine. Clone 115 adds depth and tannin structure. The Dijon clones 667 and 777 give the wine’s aroma the higher fruit tones, while the complexity and “spice” flavors come from the California selections, Calera and Swan.
VINTAGE: Compare the nearly thirty days of intense frost from spring 2008 to the fewer than five frost incidents in 2009, the start to the vintage was much less eventful for growers not worrying about the threat of frost—or the lack of water to combat it if it came. Late spring rains delayed irrigation needs and the warm spell in June helped curtail excessive canopy development. The 2009 growing season counted perhaps only four or five days of 100°f plus temperatures (typically 14), again helping to reduce demand for water when the resource was relatively scarce. Though rainfall was little more than two-thirds of normal for the third year in a row, the timing of the precipitation was on the vine's side. Couple that with the lack of frost and the mild, relatively cool growing season, Mother Nature managed to have it all work in unison to give vines and grapes the best scenario possible.
The Knittel clones were fermented in two open top fermenters. Clones 115 and 777 were fermented together. The remaining three clones; 667, Calera and Swan were also fermented together. This allows the fruit/wine to marry together earlier. It was pressed at dryness, and put into French oak barrels immediately. The wine was aged 10 months in barrels prior to bottling on August 19, 2010.
TASTING NOTES: Our 2009 is lighter, more of a classic French-style Pinot Noir. It is true to its varietal, being elegant and delicate with a little toasted coffee on the nose. The 2009 shows more complexity than earlier vintages, with components more woven together and less one dimensional.