2017 MATTHIASSON Carneros Pinot Noir/Nebbiolo, Devorah Vineyard

2017 MATTHIASSON Carneros Pinot Noir/Nebbiolo, Devorah Vineyard

2017 Pinot Noir/Nebbiolo
Devorah Vineyard

As long time lovers of Pinot Noir, we occasionally feel the call to produce one of our own. In this case it was a literal call: our friends asked us to take over the farming and the fruit in the tiny Devorah Vineyard in Carneros.

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The catch: there are 5-10% Nebbiolo vines interplanted with the Pinot Noir, a result of an earlier grafting mistake. They suggested making rosé, we said no way. This could be a match made in heaven: two varieties–that are already soul cousins–grown in the exact same terroir, all mixed together as one. We said we’d take the vineyard but we were going to make red wine.

There was a heat spike forecasted (the big one in 2017) so we harvested everything the first morning of the heat spell, picking the last fruit as it started to get hot. We picked it all together and co-fermented it in one small tank. We fermented it 100% whole cluster (why not go for it, right?). We pressed after 14 days on the skins and aged the wine in two new and eight neutral Burgundy barrels for 20 months.

The wine shows the red fruits and earth of Carneros Pinot Noir, along with the spice and lifted aromatics of Nebbiolo. The Nebbiolo is unmistakable on the finish, with the silky but firm tannins and noble bitterness.

The pH is 3.65, the TA is 5.5 g/l, and the alcohol is 12.1%. 240 cases produced.

The Vineyard

The Devorah Vineyard is located at the far southern edge of Los Carneros, right where the land drops off and the salt marshes start. Morning fog, afternoon sea breezes, and sandy salty soil, this place is as close to the Bay as you can get without getting your shoes wet.