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Small Vines Estate Cuvee Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2013 Red Wine

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Small Vines Estate Cuvee Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2013

Russian River Valley, CA

Silver Medal - Sunset Magazine International Wine Competition, April 2016

When we met Small Vines winemaker Paul Sloan at a recent wine tasting event, we were impressed by his superb Pinots as well as his enthusiasm for organic and Burgundian farming methods. Paul's story is very interesting: it all started in 1995, when Paul was a wine steward in a restaurant. A customer ordered a bottle of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 1978 (a very famous red Burgundy) and gave Paul a taste. It was a life-changing experience. He became consumed with the need to learn all he could about what it would take to create Pinot Noirs of that quality in California. He invited winemakers and negociants from France to visit him in Northern California and picked their brains on how to grow the best grapes possible in Sonoma County. He garnered a treasure trove of Burgundian wisdom from them, including the idea of high-density planting. Paul began planting Pinot Noir vines in the Russian River and Sonoma Coast AVA's in the style used in Burgundy: closely planted rows, resulting in "Small Vines" (thus the winery name). This technique yields a much smaller quantity of fruit, but with superior flavor. "Small vines make the best wines!" We couldn't agree more! With each vine yielding only an average of 1 lb. of grapes (vs. up to 30 lbs. in more widely-spaced plants), Paul is producing BETTER wine, not MORE wine! 

If you want to taste a truly elegant, Burgundian-style American Pinot Noir, this wine is for you! We absolutely LOVE this Pinot!

Wine Enthusiast - "Aromas and flavors of sandalwood and grenadine layer around this velvety, seductive wine. It offers black tea, truffle and forest floor, the body sinewy and complex. Savory in cinnamon and clove on the finish, it needs time to open; decant or cellar through 2021."

 Prince of Pinot 8/16/16 - "Small Vines Wines Excels with High-Density Plantings - Paul and Kathryn Sloan founded a winegrowing company in the Russian River Valley called Small Vines Viticulture in 1998. The firm’s trademarked tagline became, “The smaller the vine, the better the wine,” based on the Sloans’ belief that high density planted vineyards similar to those in Burgundy can play an important role in determining grape quality."

IntoWine.com - “Top 100 Most Influential U.S. Winemakers” - #93-Paul Sloan: As Small Vines Wines proprietor and viticulturalist based in Sebastopol and pushing compact spacing, Sloan’s philosophy is that high-density plantings focus the energy of the vine into smaller, more intensely flavorful clusters, producing better quality wine, as is evidenced by his Pinot Noirs. Striving to innovate, not duplicate, Sloan advocates water conservation, soil conservation, and utilizing more efficient machinery to reduce pollutant outputs. He utilizes close spacing of vines similar to what you find in Burgundy and Bordeaux and many grape growers are taking notice.

Winemaker notes:

Hand selecting our best barrels, crafted from obsessively tended vines, this precise Cuvée marries our excellent Estate vineyards together. The 2013 vintage was glorious as far as weather is concerned. A major factor shaping this wine from this vintage was the rain cycle. We had little to no rain after January, which resulted in berries and clusters that were smaller and more concentrated than the 2012 vintage. Even though we had a great fruit set, the vines did not size the fruit up as much because the soils were becoming water deprived. The resulting wines were concentrated and balanced with great structure and acidity- an exceptionally high quality year resulting in a worthy aging vintage.

Vineyards: 60% Baranoff Vineyard: Planted 2001, top of ridge above the Laguna de Santa Rosa, Sebastopol. 10% Old Mill: Planted 2001, super low vigor soil, heart of the Green Valley AVA. 10% MK Vineyard: Planted 1999, Occidental Hills. 20% Barlow Homestead: Planted 2009, cool-windy ridge top with heavy coastal influences, Sebastopol
Farming: Organically farmed by Small Vines Viticulture, Inc.
Spacing: 4x4 and 4x3 (2722– 3630 vines per acre)
Soils: Red sandy clay loam to dark gray Goldridge fine sandy loam
Yields: ~1.0-2.0 lbs. per vine, naturally. Each berry/cluster passes 10-11 rigorous hand-evaluation steps before inclusion
Clones: Dijon 113, 114, 115, 459, 667, 777, 828, 943 and Swan, Calera, Pommard
Hand Harvest Dates: Baranoff: 9/7 and 9/9/13. Barlow Homestead: 9/2, 9/7 and 9/9/13. MK Vineyard: 9/5/13. Old Mill: 9/9/13
Brix at Cold Soak: Baranoff: 23-24, Barlow: 22.1-23.4, MK: 23.4, Old Mill: 23.6
Fermentation: Native yeast fermentation; 3-5 day cold soak. On the skins for 14-21 days including pre and post-fermentation maceration. Native ML. 35% whole cluster
Barrel Program: 15 months on fine lees; 35% New French oak: Atelier, Siruge, Remond. 65% Neutral: Atelier, Ermitage, Siruge, Remond
Bottling: Bottled unfined, unfiltered December 18, 2014
Chemistry: pH: 3.77, TA: 0.56 g/100ml, RS: 0.5 g/L, Alc 13.6%

Cases produced: 524


Product Videos

In The Vineyard - Effects of Narrow Spacing of Vines (05:04)
http://wineriff.com/in-the-vineyard - Paul Sloan is the proprietor of Small Vines Wine and Viticulture in the Russian River Valley. In this video Paul talks about the Small Vines philosophy of narrow spacing of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines, and the effect it has on the resulting wines. Small Vines is a small winery and vineyard management company in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations.
  • In The Vineyar...
    http://wineriff.com/in-the-vineyard - Paul Sloan is the propri...
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Product Reviews

  1. Hidden Gem 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 12th Jan 2018

    Great full bodied pinot with a good price point - hidden gem, as the wine drinks at a level greater than the cost. Give it a try, you truly have nothing to lose!