Vine-O Distributors Inc.

Distributor of Modern Classics

2004 Clouds Rest "Limited Release" Pinot Noir

Winemaking:  Anthony Austin, Winemaker. Hand harvested in the early morning to bring in cool fruit. The grapes have been ripened without excessive dehydration which yields lower sugars.  On arrival at the winery the grapes are mixed by percentage, whole clusters mixed with de-stemmed grapes and placed in one ton fermentation tanks without crushing.

The grapes are immediately chilled to 48-50 degrees F. for the cold soak. “Punch down” is done by hand twice daily. In approximately 8-10 days spontaneous fermentation (wild yeast) has begun. Each tank is inoculated with Assmanhausen and Williams-Seylem yeasts after the start of the wild yeast fermentation. The wild fermentation adds a complexity and nuance of the yeast extractives, as well as moderates the fermentation rate. The pure strain is a slow steady fermentation rate with the ability to finish to dryness. During the alcoholic fermentation the cap is hand punched down 2-3 times daily.

The pressing occurs at about 2-3 Brix. The new wine is then put directly into a mix of 50% new French Oak (Tonnellerie Sirugue) and 50% once used French Oak (Tonnellerie Sirugue). In these barrels the wine undergoes a malolactic fermentation in the presence of the yeast which is stirred every 2 weeks. This process is very important in that it not only helps the M-L bacteria grow; it is the best “fining” agent removing harsh tannins and colloids.  As with all Clouds Rest Pinot Noir, the very minimum of manipulation to achieve refinement is utilized. Racking is by inert gas pressure, not pumps; fining, if used, is only fresh egg whites and filtration is only into the bottle. Each wine is racked ideally only once prior to the final bottle racking.

Viticulture practices:  No machinery “by hand only” vineyard. On steep hillsides the different clones were planted to ripen in concert. 10,000 plus vines on 1.75ac., 36”x36” spacing in rocky, volcanic soil, warm days and cooler nights, daily breezes from the west at 1250’ elevation, high  above where the Clouds Rest at night.

2004 Harvest Date: September 27 A warm fall yielded higher sugars and “fatter” wine. Whole cluster: 25%, Cold soak, Yield: 7.9 tons, approximately 1.6 pounds per plant, 19 months in bbl.

Clouds Rest

The Clouds Rest vineyard is situated at a lofty 1250' on Sonoma Mountain in the heart of the Sonoma Coast appellation. Planted in unique volcanic soil on the rocky hillsides, our grapes ripen with warm days and cool evening ocean breezes that when combined create the unique alluring terroir of Clouds Rest Pinot Noir. This is the most intensely planted vineyard in the Sonoma Coast Ava and the most difficult and expensive to farm. 100% of our farming is done by hand. We have 10,000+ vines planted high density 36" x 36" of the finest pinot noir clones selected block by block to ripen together creating the consistent, rich and seductive flavors of our wine. Struggle is the name of the game in producing the finest pinot noir.

Sonoma Coast

The Sonoma Coast AVA is an American Viticultural Area in Sonoma County, California, USA containing more than 500,000 acres (2,000 km2), mostly along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. It extends from San Pablo Bay to the border with Mendocino County. The appellation is known for its cool climate and high rainfall relative to other parts of Sonoma County. The area has such a broad range of microclimates that petitions are being made to the United States Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for the creation of sub-AVAs such as the proposed Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.