ValleyFogBlog


Countdown to the 2009 Release: Hayley Vineyard Pinot Noir by valleyfog

On to pinot noir number three out of five pinots we made in 2009. Yes, that’s a lot for a small little winery like ourselves, but we were like a kid in a candy shop with all the available fruit that year. We made three pinots from Mendocino County, including the Hayley Vineyard Pinot Noir.

One of our goals in winemaking is to explore the variations on the pinot noir theme, based on location. With five wines, we want each one to represent a different flavor profile – that is what is so enchanting about pinot noir.

Hayley Vineyard fruit headed for the sorting line

Located halfway between Boonville and Philo in Anderson Valley, Hayley Vineyard is a 34-acre site is planted to Dijon clones 114, 115, 667 and 777 along with small amounts of Pommard and Martini.

Unlike the Deer Meadows Vineyard which is at 1600′ elevation, the Hayley Vineyard is located on the valley floor, where fog situates itself at the end of the day, providing a cooling influence to moderate from the warm days that permeate the valley. This location yields a more fruit-focused profile vs. the earthy and floral tones on the Deer Meadows. Each wine is yummy – just different.

We only made one barrel of pinot noir from the Hayley Vineyard, so it had to be good! Read the tasting notes and you’ll get an idea of why this is a singularly special wine:

The Hayley Vineyard pinot noir is all about that classic Anderson Valley cherry fruit. On the nose, in addition to the cherry, is a hint of malted milk and a sweet toastiness from the oak. At the beginning, you get hints of pastry and cherry pie. On the mid-palate is a soft, silky mouthfeel enrobed in strawberry and rhubarb, ending in a clean finish. A light to medium-bodied pinot noir, the Hayley Vineyard pinot noir is truly enjoyable on its own or with your favorite meal.

Here are the details and specs for this wine:

  • Clones: 114
  • Harvest/Brix: September 29, 2009 at 26 Brix
  • Fruit: 100% whole berry (no stems)
  • Fermentation: RC212 yeast
  • Barrel aging: 17 months in French oak, 25% new (Francois Freres)
  • Alcohol content: 14.6% by volume
  • Bottled: March, 2011
  • Production: 24 cases

That’s our tour of Mendocino County pinot noir…next week, we move a bit further south to the Russian River.

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