2015 Nelson Pinot Noir
We sourced fruit from Philip Nelson and made only 75 cases of the 2015 vintage. This already low-yielding vineyard was further impacted by the weather conditions of 2015 (which we will discuss) and produced the smallest clusters that resulted in concentrated and complex grapes. We love the aromatics and flavor profile of this wine.
In 1967, Gerald Nelson acquired 162 acres of land in the Santa Cruz Mountains and soon after planted the land with Christmas trees. For 30 years, the property was known as Nelson's Christmas Tree Farm, developing a reputation for the quality of the slow-growing Silvertip Firs. In 1999, the Nelson family exchanged Christmas trees for grapevines and planted 9 acres of Pinot Noir (clones 828, 115, 667 and Pommard) and Syrah (Chardonnay was planted later). Philip Nelson grew up in a farming family that raised Christmas trees. The name of the winery is taken from a variety of evergreen firs, ones with a silver-tipped pine needle. He is the third generation to live on this property and although he manages the vineyards, his day job is in the biotech industry.
The 2015 vintage was the lowest yielding vintage in our thirty-five year history. The ongoing drought was only tangentially responsible for the loss of crop; as the warm, dry winter encouraged a record early February bud-break. March and early April were warm and dry and things seemed to be headed in a positive direction. In mid-April a persistent trough parked off the coast of Northern California gave us five weeks of cold, wet and windy weather that killed off the blooming flowers in the vineyard and left with yields under .25 tons/acre in many vineyards. The good news is that quality is very, very high. The wines are immensely concentrated with tremendous intensity and life.