WindVane was created as an homage to the wind that contributes to the unique character of the wines of Western Carneros. After working with the same vineyards for years, winemaker Steven Urberg was intrigued by some of the windiest vineyard blocks on the estate. The wines coming from these wind-blown vines are concentrated with great depth of fruit and a generous mouthfeel. WindVane is selected from the most expressive parcels throughout our 335 acres of estate vineyards in the Carneros region of Northern California. Our unique property has an East facing exposure with a mountain range directly alongside the West side of the vineyards. The mountains provide altitude, shallow rocky soils, shade from the intense afternoon sun and they also serve to funnel the intense Pacific Coast breezes directly onto the vineyards. We select vines from the steepest, rockiest areas of the vineyards where the soils are very thin and the vines are challenged throughout the growing season. They face the natural elements of a cooler marine layer in the mornings and afternoons, and intense wind which results in small crops of very slow ripening fruit that produce intense character.
The aroma of this Pinot Noir opens with bold spice, earth, black cherry, and blackberry. On the palate are ripe black fruit characteristics of black cherry and blackberry, as well as a spicy, earthy forest floor, and cedar. This wine has a full and complex mouthfeel with many layers, and is silky and bright. Throughout the palate it remains very balanced with notes of spice and intense dark chocolate on the finish. This wine is ready to drink now, but will get better with age. Only 100 cases were produced.
Bright cherry and ripe blackberry notes pair appealingly with wild boar, venison or barbequed meats. The spicy cedar and dried chili pepper flavors is a consummate match for cedar plank salmon, spiced duck breast or herb roasted chicken. The earthy components compliment savory dishes such as wild mushroom risotto and rosemary encrusted lamb.
Coming off some challenging vintages, 2014 was an ideal vintage. The weather was great with no real heat variances, and overall the patterns were very even keeled. Fruit ripened evenly on the vines and performed well so we were picking this Pinot Noir at the ultimate sugar and acid levels and the fruit was very evenly balanced. Overall, 2014 was a picture perfect harvest.
WindVane Reserve Pinot Noir is the ultimate selection, starting with choices in the vineyard and then at the winery with the barrels. We pre-select vineyard blocks that are most devigorated and exposed to the intense Carneros winds, as they will give us the most intensity of flavors. Individual vineyard lots are destemmed, partially crushed and cold-soaked for 2 days to extract color and fruit flavors in our small open tanks. After fermentation, wines are aged in French oak barrels for 9 months. A handful of barrels are selected, those that truly express the intensity of flavors that WindVane embodies.