Root and Rubble Pinot Noir 2018, Sonoma County
Winemaker Adam Lee has made Pinot Noir for 35 years from just about every distinguished vineyard in California and many in Oregon. His winemaking skills are unimpeachable so now, having passed the winemaking baton on to Matt Revelette at Siduri, he is trying all the things that may not have gotten past the accountant’s green eye shades in the past.The Root & Rubble Pinot Noir 2018 PInot Noir, Sonoma County, concrete block is a case in point. It is fermented and aged in concrete. For six months no less. No oak. No stainless steel. Just the semi-permeable nature of 1,200 gallon square tanks permitting a hint of oxygenation through their structure. He was fussy about the choice of clones and chose 828 and Martini 23 on account of their thick skins.
The inspiration for this particular experiment was a trip to Châteauneuf-du-Pape where Adam saw the practice being used for Grenache. It is even more extensively used than that. The results are a light wine with a perfumey bouquet, fruit-driven flavors expressing the pure flavors of the grapes, and a long finish of charm and finesse.
In the meantime drink this wine now. It is intentionally crafted for early consumption.
“It is with great excitement that I share with you the first vintage of Root & Rubble – a Sonoma County Pinot Noir 100% fermented and aged entirely in square concrete tanks. The inspiration for Root & Rubble came to me during a recent trip to France’s renowned Chateauneuf-du-Pape region. I noticed many of the producers comparing Grenache to Pinot Noir, which they age in square concrete tanks as opposed to the traditional oak barrels. “What if Pinot Noir was aged in concrete tanks, not barrels?” was the very thought I kept coming back to. Fermenting Pinot Noir in concrete is not that unusual, but both fermenting and aging in concrete is nearly unheard of. So, the idea of an experiment emerged. As they say, where there is a will there is a way, and finding a concrete tank locally brought this dream to reality, with the tank arriving at the winery just before the first grapes from the 2018 harvest arrived. The 2018 vintage was sourced from the Barbieri Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. Typically used for blending, clone 828 was selected for its thicker skins and strong tannin presence, letting the wine stand on its own. It is truly a pure expression of Pinot Noir – with no influence from oak – only the character of the grape, of the place, and of the concrete.” Adam Lee, (Siduri Winery) 90 Points Jeb Dunnuck, 91 Points Vinous
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