Small Vines Estate Cuvee Pinot Noir 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Only in high-school, Paul started as a bus-boy learning about wine from passionate restaurateurs. He embraced wine with an unquenchable desire to read and taste everything he could-and eventually worked his way up to the assistant wine buyer position at John Ash and Company (in 1993 until 95). As a very young wine steward, he was given many opportunities to taste both California classic wines and wines from all over the world. One night, his life would change forever, when a person dining alone offered him a taste of a very rare Burgundy. This ethereal experience, with one of the world’s greatest wines, sent him on a quest for more knowledge and forever fueled his drive to make captivating wines like this. He launched into self-study, and soon discovered that some of the greatest Pinot Noirs in the world come from a mature, small vines.
Soon after this experience, Paul and Kathryn Sloan met and fell in love in nature. As adventurous partners in rock climbing and mountain biking, we took a sabbatical and traveled the country only to return home to one of the most beautiful places on earth, Sonoma County, California. It is here, where Paul’s family has been for three generations (and now four), that we embarked upon even bigger adventures. Paul returned to college to get his Viticulture degree, and simultaneously went to work for one of the most respected winegrowers in the county, Warren Dutton of Dutton Ranches.
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.