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2005 Wedell Cellars Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir

For our 2005 Wedell Cellars Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir we chose a blend of four different Dijon clones of Pinot Noir (clones 5,115, 667 & 777) from two well known vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills appellation to create a truly complex, intricate and compelling Pinot Noir.

It has always been our philosophy that less is more and the 2005 Wedell Cellars Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir is a stunning example of how well Pinot Noir benefits from this practice. The 2005 vintage was a classic year for Pinot Noir, bud break in March that was followed by flowering and a good crop set in May. The summer was very cool with overcast in the morning and afternoon sun. There was no rain or major heat waves. The normal Pinot Noir harvest for the Santa Rita Hills is towards the end of August, but because of the incredibly moderate summer the grapes stayed on the vine for almost an entire additional month allowing the grapes to develop intense flavors and complexity. When the grapes were hand picked the sugars and acidity were in perfect balance to create a monumental Pinot Noir. At harvest the yields were less than two tons per acre with exceptional fruit. After harvest the grapes were hand sorted, destemmed and then hand sorted a second time with all of the stems, leaves, shot and damaged grapes being discarded. The free run juice resulting from the destemming was pumped off and discarded (saignee), the grapes were cold soaked for three days and then open top fermented in small bins using indigenous yeasts with the cap being punched down on a regular basis. Finally after ten days of fermentation the wine was placed in the press gently and lightly pressed off, in fact the 2005 Wedell Cellars Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir is more than 70% free run juice. While aging sur lie for sixteen months the wine underwent complete malolactic fermentation and in February 2007 the wine was racked off its lees for assemblage and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

The deep color and intense bouquet of black cherry, raspberry and wild berry are only a hint at what an extraordinary wine we have created. The richness and complexity is reminiscent of a truly exceptional Pinot Noir, we feel that because this wine is incredibly balanced, it is readily enjoyable now and will mature beautifully for years to come.

Harvest Dates:   September 9-26, 2005
Brix & Acidity:   25.3°   3.28 PH     7.0 TA
Pinot Noir Clones   Clone5-15%, Clone115-49%, Clone667-22%, Clone777-14%
Barrels:   Taransaud, François Frères & Demptos 65% new Allier, Le Bertranges, Center of France & Tronçais Forests
Bottled:   February 9, 2007
Alcohol:   14.5%
Production:   750ml: 1234 Six Pack Cases
1.5 liter: 20 Six Pack Cases
3 liter: 12 Bottles