2018 Eden Rift Pinot Noir 'Palmtag'
Cienega Valley, California
Palmtag Pinot Noir is Eden Rift’s first ever single block Pinot Noir. Named after the second owner of the estate, William Palmtag who purchased Eden Rift in 1883 and named it Palmtag Mountain Vineyards. Palmtag is the only Mount Eden Clone that Eden Rift has on property and the small clusters/yields create a precise elegance and fruit profile in the wine. This bottling features 33% whole cluster and was aged in French oak barrels for fifteen months. Only 267 cases produced.
Picked at night on the 25th of September, tiny clusters of hand-harvested Pinot Noir grapes were immediately brought to the winery. Crushed and de-stemmed, the must was transferred to small, open-top fermenters. The fruit was cold soaked, to increase aromatics especially with all the whole cluster fruit included, and to allow the fermentation to kick off naturally. The tanks were allowed to finish at their own pace, with twice daily punch downs. Once pressed the wine was racked to French oak barrels. Ultimately, the wine was allowed to age in barrel for 14 months, to give time for this structured and gripping wine to grow into its full self.
97 points, James Suckling. "A fantastic pinot with an electric finish of chalk and salt with ripe-strawberry and strawberry-pie flavors. Full-bodied and tight. Fresh and minerally. Hints of asphalt and earth come through."
Eden Rift is the oldest continuously producing estate vineyard in California. Located just 20 miles from the Monterey Bay, the 120 acre estate rests on the San Andreas Faultline and is part of the Cienega Valley AVA. Early vintners saw potential in the limestone and dolomite-rich soil planting Pinot Noir on the estate in 1860. Post prohibition, the focus on Pinot Noir & Chardonnay was lost until 2016 when Christian Pillsbury acquired the estate. Christian assembled a team of young industry professionals starting with winemaker Cory Waller to once again make some of California’s most vivid, energetic Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The extreme terraces and diverse terroir in a single contiguous valley make California’s oldest estate vineyard its most exciting new project.