Pinot Noir is beautiful on its own, straight from the vineyard, and that’s why we started producing our “Zero New Oak” Pinot Noir. By aging in only second-year and –older barrels (no new oak), we can focus on the cherry and berry fruit and bright acidity that makes cold-climate Pinot so special, while keeping the oak influence in the background.
The 2012 Zero New Oak Pinot Noir is fermented in an open-top tank with 30% whole clusters (70% destemmed) and 100% wild yeast and wild ML cultures. (We have never inoculated at our winery.) This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
The 2012 vintage was as ideal as we’ve seen in Anderson Valley. In many ways it reminded us of 2007 — the grapes ripened evenly and right on schedule, and no major weather events arrived during summer or harvest. In short, this was a great vintage at Charles Vineyard and for the North Coast in general.
Although we started listing ingredients several years ago (with our 2010 Charles Vineyard Semillon), 2012 is the first vintage that this statement will appear on all our wines.