Best known for its cool climate and proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the “True” Sonoma Coast is considered the far western edge of the coastline. This challenging extreme cooler coastal climate has vineyards competing with fog, wind and ocean breezes to ripen fruit, and is renowned for its distinct Pinot Noirs.
"The 2018 Pinot Noir Hallberg Vineyard was aged for 14 months in French oak, 25% new. Medium ruby-purple in color, perfumed notions of candied violets, red roses and cinnamon stick prance out of the glass followed by a core of pomegranate, black raspberries and Morello cherries. The medium to full-bodied palate has a soft, plush texture and seamless freshness supporting the fragrant red and black fruit layers, finishing with a spicy kick. This was made from three different clones: 115, 828 and a "suitcase" clone. 546 cases were made.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
Distinctive and refined, this Pinot Noir is lithe and lively, showing aromas and flavors of lifted supple red berry fruits. Notes of bright Bing cherry, pomegranate and ripe strawberry are supported by hints of wild floral perfume, cola nut and sweet oak spice. More herbaceous and mineral forest floor notes come through on the back end, with fine grained tannins and a noticeable nerve of acidity. Classic in its expression of the cool Sonoma Coast.
Hallberg sits in one of the coolest areas of Sonoma County, and a near perfect, slow and steady harvest season, was very welcomed in 2018. Abundant February rains followed by drying sun and weather allowed for even flowering and bud break. Cooler temperatures and moderate weather allowed grapes to ripen perfectly, developing deep complexity, intensity, ripeness and balance with a beautiful freshness that came naturally. There was little to no frost during the spring fruit set and no heat spikes throughout the growing season – all of which helped the grapes reach full maturity, with harvest occurring in mid-September. Generally normal to heavier fruit-set with great flavor intensity and complexity will be the hallmark of the season.
Fruit for this wine was selected from the Hallberg vineyard just outside Sebastopol. The vineyard features Goldridge Sandy Loam underlain with Sebastopol Sandy Clay Loam soils on gently rolling ridge tops and enjoys beautiful sunny afternoon weather tempered by fog and cooling coastal breezes from the Pacific, about 20 miles away. The vineyard is dry farmed, without irrigation, and sits just 200 feet above sea level. Dry-farming helps the grapes achieve full physiological ripeness at lower sugar levels, with more complex taste components in heightened balance. There are 11 different Pinot Noir clones planted in various blocks throughout the vineyard, which is actually in three growing regions: Green Valley, Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast.
We primarily source from Green Valley, where the fog is its trademark. One of the smallest appellations in Sonoma County, it lies in the southwestern part of the Russian River Valley, bounded by the towns of Sebastopol, Forestville and Occidental. It is very tightly delineated, both geographically and climatically, and is the most consistent of any North Coast appellation in terms of soil, climate and flavor. Here you find mostly Goldridge soil, the most sought-after type in Sonoma County—especially for Pinot Noir, as the wines exhibit a distinctive flair.
Crafted with the same minimal winemaking techniques as Etude’s celebrated Carneros Pinot Noirs, each regional wine purely reflects the unique essence and character of its regional vineyard and still maintains Etude’s hallmarks of aromatic intrigue, vibrancy of expression and depth in ageability. The Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir underwent cold maceration in small lot open-top fermenters with extended time on the skins and including a small number of whole clusters. The wine is aged in French Oak with a small percentage of new barrels.
For more than a decade Jon has fashioned Etude wines with a simple creed. Inspired winegrowing diminishes the need for a winemaker to intervene in the cellar. Whether sourcing from the estate Grace Benoist Ranch in Sonoma's Los Carneros, or vineyards like Fiddlestix and North Canyon in famed growing regions of California's Central Coast, his focus is on coaxing the very best from the vineyard. It shows in every glass of Etude.
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