The 2017 Krause Vineyard Pinot Noir is a vibrant, concentrated garnet color with a bright ruby core. Captivating aromas of macerated strawberry, sour cherry, ripe raspberry and a hint of eucalyptus leap out of the glass. The palate confirms the ripe and juicy nose while adding on some wonderful savory aspects, including pink peppercorns, black licorice, and rich cured leather, and finishes off with a brambly blackberry note. This wine showcases smooth tannins and great texture with a backbone of finely crushed stone.
The Krause Vineyard is on a steep gravely slope in the Los Altos Hills. It’s a hard vineyard to walk, and the vines have to struggle to survive. Stressed vines make great wine work with. There were four clones chosen to be grown on this vineyard, two of which make a dense rich-colored juice that provides structure and two provide fruit and balance. On the warm side, for a Pinot Noir to be grown, the winemaker will be in a dance with how the growing season goes. The 2017 season had a heat spike just as this fruit was ripe and by the time they were harvested provided intense and concentrated fruit.
The Krause Vineyard Pinot came separated in its four clonal selections and immediately destemmed. The grapes were hand-sorted by a dedicated crew that served to remove unsatisfactory fruit and all unwanted material and stem debris. One of the points was to reduce any astringent effect from the stems to later show up as a plusher wine.
The must was cold-soaked for 4 days to maximize extraction and then fermented in 2 lots with 2 different yeast protocols in 2 different styled fermenters. We introduced egg-shaped fermentation vessels with this vintage, that mimic the shape of ancient Etruscan fermenting vats which provide a particular outcome for the wine – notably color and flavor extraction.
After fermentation, the wine was pressed and the free-run kept separate from the press wine. All were aged in French Oak, one-third was new.
Prior to bottling, this wine was not fined however got a brief filtration.
These well-tended grapes received first class attention by being hand sorted by a crew of eight people assuring the best results. The high heat brought a strawberry jam essence to the wine while the clone selection provides a dark, full-bodied wine with higher than expected tannins. We called this our Cab Lovers pinot. By all rights, this vineyard should be planted to Cabernet Sauvignon but the owner loves Pinot Noir. Many people love this Pinot Noir.
Food Pairing Notes
The richness and decadence of this Pinot Noir complements savory dishes such as seared filet mignon, rich beef bourguignon, whole roasted chicken, and spiced lamb.