The grapes are from the Coyote Ridge upper block vineyard situated almost in the middle of Dry Creek Valley. This tiny 1.2-acre vineyard is planted on decomposed rocks and brick red Manzanita-type soils very well suited for low-pH Petites with deep red color and solid, age-worthy structure. The vineyard is about 27 years old now and dry-farmed. The yield in 2021 was the lowest I’ve seen in the last 20 years!
The 2021 harvest year was near perfect for growing grapes and a second year of a lighter-than-normal crop. The berry size was smaller than average, delivering exceptional flavors, intense color, and beautiful grapes—fruit-forward and ripe. The season started early and was cold. We had no long, lingering heatwaves in 2021, leading to relatively early to expected harvest dates, with most grapes ripening simultaneously.
We handled the fruit in the gentlest way possible: hand-sorted and fermented in small open-top fermenters with minimum hand punch-downs daily. As usual, the most effort was in extracting as much of the beautiful Petite aromas without the harsh tannins. Malolactic fermentation was completed in barrels; then, the wine was aged in 25% new French oak barrels for about 17 months.