Even though Stiling is our longest held vineyard source, we can’t help but fine tune every year. For 2017, fermentations were split to incorporate both completely destemmed fruit and whole cluster fermentations which were pumped over and punched down. While Stiling fruit can handily soak up flavors of new wood, we employed several puncheons (those big barrels again) to minimize the overall oak flavor impact on the fruit.
The result? A refined, classically-proportioned Stiling Pinot combining the richness of 2015 and the freshness of 2016. There’s a reliable sense of place we anticipate every year from the heart of the Russian River…bold flavors and aromas of both Bing and black cherry, strawberry, baking spices (clove, nutmeg) and a touch of cola nut and bramble. Partial stem fermentation adds to the structure as well as a very discrete earthy/herbal quality in the finish that balances and complements all of that dazzling fruit.
While still a bit tightly wound today, the 2017 Stiling will relax and unfold over the next year, coming together to reveal its creamy, smoky core. A further 3-5 years in the cellar (if possible) will always unlock more enjoyment for those with the willpower to wait! Prime drinking window is 2020 through 2026, while it also has graceful ageability potential through 2027 and beyond.