Vineyard and Region Information: Three blocks go into our Old Corral Pinot Noir. The first is the namesake Old Corral block. This rocky hillside slopes steeply to the South and East and is planted to the Swan selection. The steep South-facing Boulder and Rocky Blocks are planted to Mt. Eden selection. Both of these blocks are very rocky as the names would suggestion. Boulder Block is actually planted around giant boulders with tightly spaced vines (5x3) and must be farmed entirely by hand.
Vintage Notes: 2016 was a beautiful vintage - good yields, a moderate growing season and decent weather through harvest - that allowed us to nail the pick dates perfectly and make wines with minimal intervention. \Wine Notes: The aromatics on this wine are really singing with a compelling melange of spice, red fruits, crushed rocks, and rose petals. On the palate, this wine speaks with intensity. Cranberry, cherry, and pomegranate are all a tightly wound core of fruit. The finish is sustained and reveals more subtle layers of complexity. There is no doubt this is a sleeper of a wine that is quite shy at the moment. The intensity, structure and tannins are all there for long term aging and I suspect it will take at least another year in bottle for the pieces to really start coming together. While certainly enjoyable now, waiting a year or two is likely to pay substantial dividends in terms of body, mouthfeel, and the emergence of beautiful secondary notes and complexity.
Wine Reviews: ** Antonio Galloni, Vinous. 93 points ** “The 2016 Pinot Noir Old Corral Estate Vineyard is the first Pinot from Bradley Brown’s estate vineyard. Bright and lifted, with lovely underpinnings of energy, the 2016 has a lot to offer in its floral and red berry inflections. In this range, the Corral leans towards finesse, understatement and nuance, with a bit less fruit depth than some of the other vineyard designates. Even so, it is quite pretty. The 2016 was done with 100% whole clusters. This parcel was grafted from Syrah in 2015.”
** Jeb Dunnuck. 92+ points ** “Translucent ruby-colored, the 2016 Old Corral Pinot Noir was not destemmed and spent 18 months in 25% new French oak. It’s a juicy, elegant, complex red that has plenty of tart cherry, mulberry, dried herbs, and dried flower aromas and flavors. It’s tight and nicely structured, with plenty of tannins, yet has solid balance and length. There’s certainly not much baby fat here, but it has a lot going for it as well. I’d give bottles 2-3 years of cellaring and I suspect it’s going to shine for 10-12 years.”
** Pinot Report, Rusty Gaffney. 91 points ** “Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Persistent aromatic joy featuring scents of cherry, ripe cranberry, spice, fertile earth and old wood. Light to mid weight in style, offering flavors of red fruits , baking spices and tobacco. A woodiness pervades the flavor and aromatic profile. Forward and pleasing and somewhat delicate, with riveting acidity and a finish resonant with crystalline cherry.”