Back to Pinot Noir ~ Leras Family Vineyards ~ Russian River Valley
The Leras Family Vineyard, located in the heart of the Russian River Valley off Woolsey Road, is planted with Pommard clones that are approximately 11 years old, as well as newer vine clones 115, 667 and 777. This vineyard embodies earthiness and minerals, the signature of Pinot Noir grown in the Russian River Valley. The 2005 growing season was one of the largest in history. Heavy winter rains rejuvenated vines., while a long cool dry summer worried us that the grapes would be late to ripen. A brief warm spell in late August/early Sept. brought the grapes to maturity with great flavors we haven't seen for years. We couldn't have asked for a better outcome, fantastic flavor from the fruit and lots of it. We have carefully refined our winemaking techniques in a way that defines our unique Pinot Noirs, separating the grapes by clone during fermentation and aging. This gives us many more blending options. We cold soak the grapes two to three days before adding several different types of yeast, cultured specifically for Pinot Noir. During the seven to twelve days it takes to ferment, we hand-punch each fermenter, sometimes as often as five or six time a day to ensure that the temperature doesn't get too warm. Once the juice is fermented, we press the fruit and move the wine into Francois Frères French oak barrels, and then age for 11 months before bottling.
Medium ruby red in color leading to a highly aromatic nose of cherries, vanilla, and smoke. The entry is velvety on the palate with rich flavors of cherry, cassis, and hints of strawberry giving way to earthy minerals, spice and toast. The wine is medium-bodied and well balanced finishing with a long, persistent fruit-driven aftertaste.