2021 Alder Springs Pinot Noir

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We have been seeking out pristine vineyards to make delicate Burgundian wines since the inception of Las Jaras – in 2018 we finally made our first Pinot Noir. We found beautiful fruit from La Belle Promenade Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and shortly thereafter we started working with the certified regenerative Mariah Vineyards from the bucolic Mendocino Ridge. This release marks our first vintage working with one of the holy grail Pinot Noir vineyards in California, Alder Springs. It’s nestled amongst the redwoods in Mendocino County’s Laytonville, not far from the Humboldt County line. The site is unique at a high elevation on a southeastern facing slope along the rugged mountains of the Mendocino coast. We pick the vineyard at the lower end of the ripeness spectrum because we believe that Pinot Noir is always generous with fruit and weight and we want to preserve the acidity and tension in the resulting wine without additions. We view it as our job as winemakers to achieve proper balance naturally.

Each of our Pinots are quite different from each other, and this one is the most powerful. It is also quite suave. This fits our quest for Burgundian California Pinot Noirs and this one can be considered classic. 


100% Pinot Noir

Located in far northern Mendocino County on a 6,000 acre ranch and nearly an hour’s drive from the next nearest vineyard, Alder Springs Vineyard was established by Stuart Bewley in 1993. In a search for the right spot to grow great grapes, he carefully studied soils from over forty sites in California and concluded that the former cattle operation was an ecological gem. The rugged, remote, and steep landscape offers nearly perfect growing conditions: bright sun, cool nights, and low-vigor soils. There are approximately 140 acres of vineyard organized into three sub-vineyards planted on gravelly loam and decompressed sandstone at elevations from 1700-2700 feet. Being just 12 miles from the Pacific and hedged by thick redwood forest, the vines are blessed with the cooling temperatures from the ocean but are also occasionally cursed from smoke from California’s wildfires — a testament to the tension of working with Mother Nature. Environmental concerns are a driving force for Stuart and a large portion of the ranch’s acreage, also supports a timber project with the purpose of carbon sequestration, in which the trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

We sourced this Pinot Noir from Swan Selection grown on Spirit Rock and clone 943 from the Emerald Pool sub vineyard where it is farmed organically.

It opens up with aromas of forest floor, bing cherry, red pluot, nutmeg, and violet. The palate has immense balance with black cherry, plum and pluot flavors coming through. The finish has substantial smooth tannin that will allow this wine to age for years to come and if you can wait will certainly benefit from at least another year in the bottle. This is a perfect wine for sushi, grilled trout, or game birds. Pinot Noir lovers rejoice!

All of the fruit was destemmed and dumped into stainless steel open-top fermentors. We added no SO2 to the tanks because the fruit was very clean. The wines fermented naturally at cool temperatures with very gentle cap movements. At dryness, we drained the tanks and transferred the free-run wines to new and used large-format barrels. (The press wines were aged separately and added to our Glou Glou wine). The core of the blend’s wines continued to age on their lees until one month before bottling (14 months after harvest), when they were racked clean and returned to barrel. Before bottling, we racked the wine clean again, and we were able to bottle without fining or filtration.

Production: 125  cases | ABV: 13.68% | TA: 6.75 g/L | pH: 3.59 | VA: 0.77 g/L | DCO2: 695 ppm

Total SO2: 48ppm | RS: 0.91 g/L | Turbidity at bottling: 20 NTUq

Download a technical data sheet here.

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Produced + Bottled by Las Jaras Wines in Sebastopol, CA