2014 Pinot Noir, Donnelly Creek Vineyard, Anderson Valley

2014 Pinot Noir, Donnelly Creek Vineyard, Anderson Valley

FEL Wines produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris grown in the Anderson Valley and on the Sonoma Coast. These cool climate regions are known for producing wines of bright acidity and considerable complexity. Crafted by Winemaker Ryan Hodgins, FEL bottlings consistently offer the elusive combination of concentration and elegance.

Vintage
Harvest came early for the Anderson Valley in 2014. A warm, early spring led to bud break in March, several weeks early. Spring turned into summer with consistently warm weather, and the vines’ maturity progressed quickly. Veraison, the changing of color and softening of the berries, began in mid-July. The first two weeks of September were quite pleasant, without any heat spikes, allowing us to pick the grapes as the flavors developed, without concern of over-ripeness. While the condensed harvest led to long days in the winery, the resulting wines show a finesse and balance found only in the greatest vintages.

Vineyards
This wine is made of a blend of Pommard and Stang clones from two different blocks at Donnelly Creek Vineyard, located just outside the town of Boonville in the most protected end of the Anderson Valley Appellation. Donnelly Creek’s warm days and cold nights consistently deliver abundant black fruit character and rich tannins.

Winemaking
The fruit was harvested September 12th and 16th at an average of 24.6° Brix. It then went through a seven-day cold soak at 50°F, a nine-day uninoculated primary fermentation peaking between 90 and 94°F, and a four-to-six-day extended maceration. The wine was aged sixteen months in 60 gallon French oak barrels, 50% of which were new. Coopers include Cadus, Damy, Rousseau, and François Frères.

Winemaker Notes
Donnelly Creek’s dark fruit aromatics are immediately apparent, despite the red-fruit driven character of the 2014 vintage. Whether it is the site, the clones, or some combination of the two, Donnelly Creek consistently delivers loads of black cherry and cola on the nose. Toast from a judicious amount of new French oak contributes hints of vanilla, fresh roasted coffee, and cardamom. Always a well-structured Pinot Noir, the 2014 is supported by fine-grained tannins which contribute to the silky palate that carries the abundant fruit to a long finish.

Analysis
Alcohol: 14.8%
Production: 191 cases
Bottling Date: January 27, 2016
Release Date: February 1, 2017

Vineyard: Donnelly Creek