Varietal Content: 100% Pinot Noir; Cooperage: 65% New, 35% Second Vintage French oak; Medium toast: Allier, Vosges and Tronçais Forests
Gowan Creek is the home of our winery and offers a perfect mid-valley winegrowing location that combines warmer Anderson Valley elements with coastal fog and cooling influences from the northern end of the valley. In 2010, this unique terroir produced a compelling expression of Pinot Noir with black cherry and blackberry aromas, as well as elements of leather and spice. These elements are echoed on the silky palate, where a beam of tightly wound acidity adds structure and definition. The finish is long and satisfying, concluding with subtle hints of bacon fat and saddle leather.
The season began with a wet winter and spring. Despite rain and cool temperatures we had a window of good weather during bloom, and saw little-or-no shatter. Overall, we set a normal crop load of approximately 2.0-2.5 tons per acre. We chose not to do any substantial leaf stripping. As a result, we saw almost no sun damage during a heat event in late August. This ideal hot weather allowed the vines to focus on ripening. Harvest began on September 15, and we picked our Estate vineyards block by block over five weeks. While the Brix were a little lower than normal, we always pick in a spectrum of Brix for added complexity, and all our fruit was in the preferred range. Overall, the 2010 vintage produced great color, fantastic aromatics and balanced acids, all with the fleshy structure and texture that are hallmarks of great Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.