2015 Double L Pinot Noir (Clone 667/115)
“667” is one of the “Dijon” clones that have become increasingly popular in California Pinot Noir plantings. It has small, tight clusters making for naturally lower yields. Tends to ripen later, giving fully developed aromatics and flavors in good weather years. Decent color, a blackberry / plum flavor profile with spice rack undertones. A very popular clone for high-end bottlings. “115” may be the most interesting of the “Dijon” clones – some winegrowers use it primarily for its very deep color and fairly tannic weight.
The Double L Vineyard’s location in the northern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA affords Morgan the chance to grow the finest cool climate wine grapes. Planted on northeast facing terraces overlooking the Salinas River Valley, the north-south vineyard row orientation provides optimum sun exposure and access to the strong afternoon breezes. The winds moderate the afternoon temperature, thickening the grape skins and concentrating flavors. The vineyard is the first in the Santa Lucia Highlands to achieve both organic and sustainable certifications.
The 2015 growing season saw a continuation of the drought in California. The lower than normal rainfall totals and dry winter led to early budbreak. The vineyard’s proximity to the Monterey Bay mitigated the few heat events, allowing for a fairly normal, gentle, long ripening period. Fruit quality from the 2015 vintage was uniformly excellent.
The grapes were completely destemmed after hand sorting. Native yeasts began the whole berry fermentation in open top tanks. Manual punch downs provided supple texture and soft tannins. The wine was transferred to a combination of medium and medium-plus toast Burgundy barrels, 50% new, for malo-lactic fermentation and 10 months of aging.
This wine shows seductive aromas of black cherry, cola spice, nut meg, graham cracker and a hint of rose petal. Rich but still smooth on the palate is backed with an intense cherry, and sweet raspberry.