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2010 VHW Pinot Noir Blending Trials!

Christopher Von Holt
 
May 23, 2011 | Christopher Von Holt

2010 VHW Pinot Noir Blending Trials!

Pam and I spent much of Saturday at the winery conducting preliminary blending trials for the 2010 Von Holt Wines Single Vineyard Designate Pinot Noir and Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Winemaker extraordinaire John Fones set up a long series of tastings for each of the two wines. Two of the factors in the Single Vineyard Designate that may interest you are the number of "free run" barrels to use vs. "pressed wine" barrels, and new oak barrels vs. neutral oak barrels. The RRV Blend has those factors but multiplied over different vineyards. The objective is simple - make great wines! The process is complex - narrow down the numerous combinations by taste, "nose", color, etc. to create those wines! John, his wife Katie, Pam, and I all bring different skill sets to the tasting table. John, as a winemaker, has a great sense of not just what is here now, but what will evolve; Katie has experienced fine French Burgundys - which is what Von Holt Wines emulates; Pam is what's called a "super taster" with the ability to discern nuanced aromas and tastes, and I - well, I know what I like (lower alcohol content, good acidity so the wines pair well with food, and nice minerality). We had a few slight differences, but amazingly enough the four of us agreed on where we are headed. Next month is round two. I'll keep you updated!

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