2015 Mes Filles Pinot Noir
Planted above the fog line in the Sebastopol Hills, the Mes Filles Vineyard is the southwestern outpost of the Russian River Valley appellation. Established in 1995 by growers Rick and Diane DuNah, this site enjoys long hours of sunlight, cool coastal temperatures and panoramic views stretching all the way to Mt. Diablo in Contra Costa County. In 2014 the DuNahs sold the 9-acre vineyard to David Gensler, noted architect and builder. David named the vineyard Mes Filles after his daughters and employed highly regarded vineyard manager Jim Pratt and his dedicated crew to farm Alquimista Cellars’ allocated blocks to Patrick Dillon’s and Greg La Follette’s specifications. The vines are trellised on the vertical shoot positioning system and rooted in Goldridge soil—a fine sandy loam. Careful viticulture ensures healthy vines, small clusters and low but flavorsome yields.
From this exceptional cool-climate site, our aim is to create an age-worthy Pinot noir of great depth and color, enabled by extremely small berries and a high skin-to-juice ratio. Mes Filles clone “Pommard” was the first pick of the vintage on August 24th, the early date chosen to capture the wine’s fresh acidity. Pinot clones 114, 115, 667 were harvested during 3 different early morning picks after this September 28th of 2015, with the crew wearing headlamps in order to deliver the fruit cool to the winery for ideal processing
The clusters required minimal sorting and were de-stemmed into open-top modified dairy tanks. A very small percent of blending was done as whole cluster carbonic maceration. The fruit was cold-soaked for several days, and the must picked up the intense garnet color very quickly. The tanks were drained and basket-pressed at 2 Brix with the balance of sugar fermenting in barrel, contributing to the mouth feel and complexity of the wine. Both primary and malolactic fermentations were completed naturally, non-inoculated.
Intensely dark color and muscular aromas of smoke and spiced berries introduce this distinct vintage from the extreme southwest reach of the Russian River Valley. Spices, Santa Rosa plum, Bing cherry, and even prosciutto flood boldly onto the palate. Mouthfeel is opulent and lengthy.
• Balanced with red cherry and pomegranate fruit vs. peaty earthiness and minerality
• Fresh acidity and well-integrated tannins on late palate, clean finish.
This unique site sits just above the fogline, with the vineyard in full sunshine while the fog laps at the vineyard edge, keeping the temperatures to no more than in the 70s. The vineyard sits at the crossroads of 4 of the most important climatic and geological considerations: hilltop overlooking the Petaluma Gap, proximity tothe ocean, Goldridge soil and fog-cooled sunshine all speak in the wine.
• Small 9 acre vineyard
• Very low yields, small berry and clusters
• Above fog line in the Sebastopol Hills, overlooking the Petaluma Wind Gap
• Extreme southwestern outpost of the Russian River Valley
• Long hours of hilltop sunlight, cool coastal temperatures
CLONES: Pommard, 114, 115, 667
FERMENTATION: Open-top fermenters including dairy tanks, native primary and secondary fermentations, 10% “carbonic maceration” whole cluster
AGING: 16 months in 33% new French oak barrels on the fine fermentation lees
PRODUCTION: 52 cases
Label Artwork by Anne Dowie