2015 Double L Pinot Noir (Pommard 5)
“Pommard 5” is the most widely planted Pinot Noir clone in Oregon. Given a cool climate like Oregon or the Santa Lucia Highlands, it normally displays a wonderful dark berry flavor profile with aromas of spice, currant, and plum. It ripens fairly late in the season with high yields if not carefully managed. When handled properly, it is known for its fairly soft, velvety mouthfeel and texture, whether bottled alone or as part of a high-end blend.
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. Yields were very low, and 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 French oak barrels, 50% new, for malo-lactic fermentation and 10 months of aging.
This wine shows seductive aromas of bing cherry, raspberry Jolly Rancher, all spice, and sandalwood. On the palate there are intense black cherry and cranberry notes.