2017 "El Galpon" Carneros Pinot Noir
2017 was a hard vintage in the North Coast even before the October fires, largely because of a severe heat wave over the Labor Day weekend. Surprisingly, the area that survived the heat the best was Carneros, the region that is usually the warmest and most prone to heat damage. All my 2017 Carneros Pinots are rich and concentrated without tasting cooked or overripe. This I would not have predicted going into harvest.
The Shop, where all of my Carneros Pinot Noir and Gamay is grown, is an early ripening site and was almost ready to pick by Labor Day, and that I think is the key to why the wines escaped the brunt of the heat. The grapes were ripe, and I was able to get all them picked before they were damaged by the heat. In other areas, it seemed as though the heat damaged the plants more than the fruit--arresting ripening and flavor development. That was certainly the case with my Sonoma Coast wines, and led to me blending them all together into one wine.
The 2017 El Galpon is based on the concrete aged portion of the Pinot Noir that goes into my The Shop blend, but with a small portion of Gamay Noir blended in. Gamay, to my surprise, quickly takes over a blend and so I added just enough to provide a little lift and acidity to the wine.
Medium dark red and plush, El Galpon is a bit bigger bodied than previous vintages but is still true to the goal of making a wine that is fresh and fun to drink. Not too serious, just delicious.
$30 a bottle.
Available for Purchase