"From the extreme wilds near Annapolis, this vineyard-designate is rapaciously earthy in all the right ways, a taste of its environs, sauvage and demanding. Dark cherry and blueberry exude on the nose and follow through on the palate, in between jolts of baking spice and dried herb. Medium bodied, the wine is on the money right now, but should also do well in the bottle for years to come. Editors’ Choice." –Sept 2015
Planted in 2002 and located in the remote coastal mountains near Annapolis along the northern Sonoma Coast appellation, Campbell Ranch perches among the redwoods at 750ft. above sea level. The vineyard is located on the third ridge inland from the Pacific Ocean, about five miles from the coastline, and is comprised of Gold Ridge soils. The vineyard rows run northwest to southeast on a relatively flat exposure, about three miles from the southern edge of Mendocino County. Campbell Ranch is considered a maritime or coastal vineyard - fog, salty sea air, and ocean breezes are ever present. Ulises Valdez, the preeminent vineyard manger in the Sonoma Coast AVA, farms the vineyard for Couloir Wines.
Each of the three Pinot Noir clones (777, 667 & 115) was hand-harvested separately into half-ton picking bins and brought directly to the winery. Half the fruit was fermented as whole clusters to add a layer of complexity and maintain the wine's bright flavor and taste profile. The grapes received a cold soak for seven days to extract maximum color from the Pinot Noir skins, while the chill prevented the start of fermentation. The fruit was then removed from refrigeration, warming and activating the native yeasts. One gentle punch down per day minimized tannin extraction from the skins, allowing the stem tannins to provide the wine’s structure. The grapes were then pressed and the wine was gravity-fed into eight French oak barrels, three of which were new. The barrels were initially stirred three times over a six-week period. The wine received neither racking, nor fining, nor filtering.