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2019 Rapley Trail Vineyard Pinot Noir
The Rapley Trail Vineyard (avg. elev. 1650 ft.) was planted in 1981, consisting of six contiguous acres of Pinot Noir vines on our Estate’s rugged southeastern slopes. It has long been the backbone of our past "Estate Reserve" Pinot Noir, but beginning in 2002 we have begun to bottle portions of the vineyard separately. This "deconstruction" displays the unique aspects and interactions of soil and climate that accounts for grapes whose flavor is a direct product of where they are grown; this is terroir. The Rapley Trail Vineyard bottling is comprised of the various lots harvested from the vineyard, which in some years can be picked in as many as 7 passes.
The 2019 vintage will go down as a classic year in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Some unsettled weather in the spring resulted in poor flowering, lower yields in some blocks. The summer was warm, but not oppressively so- the lack of extreme heat events was a welcome change. Harvest began in mid September, finishing up in mid to late October - relatively late compared to the recent string of early harvests. The wines are concentrated with a fine balance of structure and fruit intensity. Site expression seems amplified; low yields and moderate temperatures often lead to some of our most singular and terroir driven wines. The wines drink surprisingly well in their youth and have all the components for a long life ahead. The only downside to the year are yields; the wines will be sought after and rare.
Santa Cruz Mountains
Roasted black cherry, cola spice, sandalwood, singed pine needle and a hint of earthy lanolin show on the nose of this excellent bottling from vines planted in 1983. The pine forest element is strong on the palate, giving minty depthy to the tart pomegranate and richer red fruit flavors
Food Pairing Notes
Matt Kettman, Wine Enthusiast. 94 pts.