2013 Pinot Noir High Ground Series

Alcohol
14.6%
Total acidity
5.9 g/l
pH
3.7
rs
<.05g/l
Serving temp.
66°F
Our bottle price
$ 35
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Our case price
$ 357
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Grapes

The grapes for this particular wine came from our wonderful friend and grower, Mark Ketcham. Ketcham Estates Vineyard in Healdsburg, California has been the source of our Pinot for the last 3 years. His vineyard is a hidden gem just off Eastside Road. With a beautiful cliff face and a creek cutting through the property, the afternoon breezes keep the fruit cool and dry, providing us with exceptional flavors and a long, even growing season. Our clonal selections for this wine are the 115, 667, and 777, all Dijon clones.

Vintage

the 2013 Vintage was textbook from start to finish. “Vintners and growers throughout California reported another high quality and generous vintage in 2013. Following a warm and dry spring with near ideal conditions for bringing grapes to maturity, harvest was remarkably smooth and wineries are at capacity and working with some very high quality winegrapes.” After a wonderful season in 2012, we saw a repeat performance, which was pretty unexpected.

Vinification

Our Pinot is treated like a princess. Very gentle handling, hand sorting, gentle destemming with no crushing, and ¼ whole clusters into the fermentation vats. Outside temps were around 69 degrees and the grapes went into a native fermentation immediately. After a two-week fermentation and maceration, the grapes were gently pressed off into all French Oak barrels, 33% new. Only one racking during its 15 months in the barrel, this wine moved as little as possible. Blending in our 500 gallon tank for 1 month before bottling to homogenize our different coopers. We use no filtration or fining on our Pinot Noir.

Tasting Notes

As is typical of this vineyard and grower, a gorgeous mouthful of fruit with well integrated oak. Notes of cranberry and orange peel, fresh strawberries and cream. Secondary aromas of Christmas spices and cherry jam with an earthy core. The palate is bursting with fruit and spice, and a long, lingering finish full of rhubarb and cinnamon. A gorgeous, ageworthy Pinot.

Why High Ground? 

The three wines in this series all arrived in Boulder at exactly the time of the “great Colorado flood”.  Neighbors were losing their homes, cars, pets and hope. Rescue helicopters flew from sunup to sundown to help trapped residents.  People hiked miles up and down the mountain just to get supplies as they had lost their vehicles or the roads in the raging waters.  With the emotions of residents at a stressful peak, and the rains not abating, more people missing every day, the last thing we wanted to think about was making wine.  But unfortunately our grapes had started their journey to us before the welcome moisture turned deadly. 

Some of our fruit arrived at our Boulder warehouse on September 13th.  Don drove to town on the one escape route we had to rescue the grapes, and he never returned.  Not having phones or power nor Internet, I had no way of knowing what happened to him.  My assumption was that the final piece of road had given way and I wouldn’t see him again for quite a while. 

Not to be deterred, Don waited at the checkpoint with our fruit for hours until they let a few cars go by.  He arrived home near dark with our sodden grapes, and they spent another night waiting for daylight to come.   

Our wonderful neighbors banded together to help us sort, crush, and barrel under temporary lighting, with a generator for the press, and swarms of stinging insects competing for the juicy nectar.  I wanted to cry.  And leave.  And quit.  But we didn’t.  And this wine has the heart of a community in each and every glass.  For that’s what it takes in times of crisis.  A community. 

To each friend and neighbor who pitched in and kept us from giving up, this wine is for you.  For all who lost something, we hope you find strength in the resilience of life and are able to begin anew.  For everyone who risked their own life to help another, we applaud your selflessness and dedication.  For everyone who is still waiting for help, we wish you peace and assistance.  But mostly we wish everyone the strength of community and friendship shown to us.

For every bottle of our High Ground Series purchased, we will donate 1$ to the Four Mile Emergency Fund.  For every bottle purchased at our retail and restaurant partners, they will also donate 1$, and you may personally make a contribution to the fund in your name through us in any amount.  This fund directly finances the emergency preparedness activities in Four Mile Canyon.

Thank you for your support.