October 20, 2010
Months in Oak
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands
The Four Boys Vineyard is the name we gave to the four small Pinot Noir vineyards we have at the winery that, coincidentally, matches the number of sons I have. Our vineyards are aptly named Anthony, Stephen, Robert, and John. Planted to the famous "La Tache" clone of Pinot Noir, with origins from Burgundy, as well as several Dijon clones, these vineyards rival the best within the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation. In total, all four vineyards amount to about 3.5 acres of which my cousin Dave and I do most all of the farming. It is our flagship Pinot Noir.
Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature about global warming in the Santa Lucia Highlands. For yet another year – this now makes six in a row – we experienced extremely cool growing conditions that delayed harvest until late October. The culprit was stubborn of La Nina where the ocean water temperatures were substantially below normal resulting in cool, dry winds. Patience was the name of the game and inclement weather held off until all the fruit fully ripened. Thirty years of winemaking and raising four boys has taught me this.
Handpicked at a high level of maturity and only as each block matured, the fruit is co-fermented in a small tank with a minimum of the berries being crushed. After "cold soaking" for upwards of 6 days to slowly release flavor and aroma components from the grape skins, a special yeast known for its bold extraction qualities was added to initiate fermentation. After fermentation was completed the wine was pressed directly into 75% new French oak barrels and matured for eleven months.
One look at the depth of color in this wine suggests that it is very jammy with concentrated aromas of ripe black cherry, and spice. The full, lush mouth feel follows layered flavors of candied plum and vanilla, reflecting the depth of the fruit and lavish use of oak. Beautifully balanced, it offers good body, rich texture, and a long, lingering finish. Grilled meats or hearty bistro makes for a perfect match.
Steve Pessagno, Winemaker
94 Points - Cellar Selection
"The Four Boys bottling has been particularly successful for Steve Pessagno, and this big, voluptuous 2010 is his best since 2006. Dry and full bodied, it has rich flavors of red and dark berries, currants, Dr. Pepper and cinnamon, with hints of dark chocolate and red licorice. It's quite tannic, and obviously needs to age. Best after 2018." - Steve Heimoff
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