Claiborne and Churchill Runestone Pinot Noir 2017 Red Wine
Claiborne and Churchill "Runestone" Pinot Noir 2017
Edna Valley, CA
We had the pleasure of visiting Claiborne & Churchill and meeting the family recently. What warm, friendly people! Truly a family-run winery, they’re very enthusiastic about their winemaking. Since 1983 they have been making wonderful Edna Valley wines (of course we’re partial to their Pinots). Interestingly, their winery is the first “straw bale” building ever constructed in California. The 16” thick walls are filled with rice straw, which is a perfect insulator!
The “Runestone” is a delicious, barrel-select Pinot from the Wolff Vineyard, which has a mixture of volcanic and sandy soil – great for growing stellar Pinot Noir! This is one of those small–production gems we love to unearth!
FROM THE WINERY:
Every year since 1997 we have produced this small lot Pinot Noir, honoring our owner Claiborne Thompson’s past as an expert in the field of Runology. Stone monuments like the eleventh-century Swedish one depicted on the label, bearing an inscription in runic letters, were an academic specialty of Clay’s in his former life as a Professor of Old Norse.
The “Runestone” occupies a special, lofty place among our several Pinot Noirs. Vineyard-designated from grapes grown on the east side of the Edna Valley at Wolff Vineyards, it is truly a “barrel select” wine. Our winemaking team meticulously puts together a special blend of ten barrels chosen from among the hundred or so in our cellar. Extended aging in French oak gives the wine its sumptuous mouthfeel, velvety tannins and lingering finish. The aim is to create a memorable wine that is not only elegant, but complex and long-lived.
The 2017 Runestone offers vivid aromas and flavors of blackberry, fig, and crushed red fruits, along with hints of orange zest, cloves and other holiday spices. Intentionally lean, sleek and well-structured, it will afford many years of pleasure to anyone wishing to lay some down in their cellar.
VINEYARDS: 100% WOLFF VINEYARDS, EDNA VALLEY AVA
CLONES: 50% POMMARD 17% #115 17% #667 16% #777
HARVESTED SEPTEMBER 23, 2017
BARREL AGING 33% NEW FRENCH OAK AGED 10 MONTHS IN BARREL
BOTTLED AUGUST 21, 2018
CASES PRODUCED 138