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Winemaker Joe Freeman – early thoughts on Pinots

Ancient Oak Cellars now has two Pinot Noirs in tank!  It seemed like a long wait for these grapes to ripen, but the rewards of patience are the ripe flavors and mature tannins we are seeing in the fermenters.  As if on cue, Fall weather arrived today, with dark clouds, cold temperatures, and light sprinkles.  A welcome change from the heat of last week, but a reminder that the 2010 growing season is nearing an end.

Just under 7 tons of Siebert Ranch Pinot Noir were hand picked on Saturday, October 2, weeks later than this block usually ripens.  After removing the grapes from the stems, the “must” was transferred to the open top fermenters for a cold soak period, where we attempt to extract as much color and flavor as possible, prior to the start of fermentation.  These grapes will have a few more days of cold soak before we inoculate with yeast and begin the conversion from juice to wine.  It looks like the 2010 Siebert Ranch Pinot Noir will be a wonderfully intense wine with very ripe flavors of black cherry and blueberry.

The Warnecke Ranch Pinot Noir was inoculated with Assmannshausen yeast (a highly regarded Pinot Noir yeast strain) on Saturday, and is showing remarkable color (a bright purple-red) and flavors (ripe red cherry, strawberry, and black tea).  The process of converting the sugars in the juice into alcohol will continue for 5-7 days before we drain the young wine off the skins, and press the skins to recover as much of the precious wine as possible.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of our young wines!

-Joe Freeman

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One Response to “Winemaker Joe Freeman – early thoughts on Pinots”

  1. Tom Dugan says:

    Joe – What can you tell me about Forty-seven friends 2010 Sonoma Pinot Noir. Serving it this weekend on the tasting bar and really can not find anything about the wine. thx. Tom Dugan

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