2007 Hanzell Vineyards Pinot Noir Sonoma Valley
A dry cool spring started the 2007 growing season with even budbreak throughout the vineyard. Very mild weather persisted through May and June. Then temperatures hit 100 degrees four days in a row in early July! The remainder of July and August were marked by warm sunny days followed by very cool nights and foggy mornings; textbook perfect for flavor and phenolic development without excessive sugar accumulation. However some mornings, the fog was so thick that the vines looked as if they had been rained upon necessitating diligence in the vineyard to make sure mildew was kept at bay. We began harvest on the south side of the Sessions Vineyard keeping each of the 11 clone/rootstock combinations distinct and separate. The remainder of Sessions and Benny’s were finished the next morning with enough cool-morning left to begin the Pinot Noir in the Ambassador Zellerbach Vineyard, which was completed the following day. We finished the Pinot Noir harvest on September 2nd with the picking of the de Brye Vineyard. As with the clone and rootstock combinations, each vineyard block remains distinct and separate until blending decisions are made shortly before bottling. At the winery, for those that were working on the sorting table, including Bob Sessions, no one had seen such perfect looking fruit. In all of the one-ton tankito’s (small tanks designed by Hanzell to keep individual small blocks separate) was 100% perfectly de-stemmed fruit. After a five to seven day cold soak, each tank was warmed to initiate fermentation and allowed to rise to 32 degrees Celsius (90F). In order to build proper tannic structure and to deepen color, the wine was kept in contact with the skins for an additional two weeks following fermentation. As is the tradition, Hanzell Vineyards Pinot Noir is aged in 50% new Sirugue barrels. The 2007 vintage marks the 50th year that we have been working with Tonnellerie Sirugue—going all the way back to our founding year of 1957. If it is true that great wines are grown in the vineyard, then it must also be true that the intrinsic qualities of that vineyard are what make the wine great. Given all the distinct differences between each of our individual vineyard blocks: elevation, aspect, slope, clone/rootstock, vine age, trellising, wind patterns, etc; one would expect wildly different resulting wines. While there are subtle differences of course, they share far more characteristics in common. This Hanzell signature in our grapes speak to the similar elemental threads that run through all of our vineyards and are a testament to the consistency of the individual hands that tend them.
BackgroundRoasted and savory spices, tobacco leaf, smoked meats, and scents of forest floor lend dark counterpoint to the bright fruit aromas of pomegranate, blackberry and orange-peel. Rich ripe fruit flavor gives balance to the copious mouth-filling tannins. With time resting in the decanter, the delineation between the fruit and the structure of this wine evaporates into a seamless and finely woven fabric of flavor and texture. The impressive fruit concentration and firm structural backbone ensure a life-span that will be measured in decades.