Balo Anderson Valley Suitcase 828 Pinot Noir 2014
The Suitcase 828 is Balo Vineyards' first attempt at bottling a single clone Pinot Noir. This controversial Pinot Droit (upright) clone was smuggled into the country from Burgundy many years ago by a famous Oregon winery owner. Its unique, vigorous growth profile has raised some questions about its origins. Decidedly old world in style, with a flavor profile roughly halfway between Pinot Noir and Gamay (think Beaujolais), this wine is an exciting departure from the typical California Pinot.
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Anderson Valley, located in Mendocino County just above Sonoma County, is one of California’s coolest AVAs, allowing it a long growing season. Only 15 miles long, the region makes a slice eastward through the mountains, from the frigid Pacific Ocean. Dramatic diurnal temperature variations here preserve grape acidity and thus freshness in the finished wines. These are prime conditions for growing Pinot Noir, and the valley produces many fine versions. Characteristics of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir typically include crisp acidity, cranberry and strawberry notes as well as earthy notes of forest floor and mushroom.
Still Pinot Noir, however, is only part of the story. Pinot Noir, along with Chardonnay, are also grown for Anderson Valley’s exceptional sparkling wines. Produced via the traditional method, these offer a classic toasty note from lees aging, bright, complex fruit notes and a clean, refreshing character.