Jax Vineyards Y3 Pinot Noir 2017
Brother and sister team, Trent and Kimberly Jackson collaborated with their vintner “green thumb” father to found their first label in 1996. Over time the two identified their unique niche among next generation wine enthusiasts. Outliers from the dominating short list of old school napa wineries, the two saw an opportunity to buck the “en vogue” winemaking style of their day to focus on the unique terroir of their family vineyard. After all, “change comes first at a small scale driven by the smaller more nimble producers.”
Soon after, cult Winemaker Kirk Venge was recruited to create balanced wines reflecting varietal character and a sense of place. Passionate about our vineyard site, integral to our clone and root stalk selections, and now 15 years in, Kirk has reinforced their instinct that focus should always be on “sense of place” to understand the nuances that allow us to make great wine.
To differentiate from their small lot single vineyard Jax line, they launched “Y3” to scale and offer more “true to varietal” wines from various AVAs (spanning Napa and Sonoma). The “Y3” symbol was the cattle symbol used on their grandparents’ cattle ranch, Yarrayne. The “3” represents three generations of land tilling entrepreneurs.
In 2013, the siblings recruited a third partner, Dan Parrott, a no nonsense individual with a laser focus on balanced wines (historically working in Italian import houses) and a true burgundian aficianado. Dan keeps the sibling rivalry in check and runs Jax like a well oiled machine.
While the Russian River Valley is a large appellation with multiple climate zones and soil types, it is best known for cool-climate varieties, with Pinot Noir as the most celebrated. The grapes benefit from a reliable late afternoon flow of Pacific Ocean fog through the Petaluma Gap and along the Russian River Valley that ensures slow and steady ripening and the preservation of grape acidity. Today many of California’s most highly regarded Pinot Noir vineyards are in the Russian River Valley, along with its sub-appellation, Green Valley.
Historically Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs had bright red fruit and delicate earthy, mineral notes. But changes in viticultural and winemaking practices have led to stylistic changes in some of the region’s wines. Adjustments to canopy management, among other techniques, have resulted in riper fruit and bolder wines as well. These show flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cola, spice and darker, loamy earth tones, accenting traditional Pinot Noir notes of strawberry, raspberry and light cherry.