This special bottling is named after my English Springer Spaniel, Chico, who loves to run up and down the sloping plateau where the vines are planted. It is a barrel selection from 25% Pommard and 75% Dijon 115, which we feel truly represents the terroir and age-ability of the Doña Margarita Vineyard.

The Doña Margarita Vineyard is named after the late matriarch of the Torres family, this 20-acre vineyard is located on the Bohemian Highway, between Freestone and Occidental, in the Sonoma Coast AVA (appellation of origin). The cool breezes and drifting fog from the Pacific Ocean, six miles away, make it an ideal site for Pinot Noir. Planted in the European style of super-high density, with 2,340 vines per acre, the yields are low and labor is intensive; but the vines live longer and the grapes acquire better balance and greater concentration, as well more elegance and finesse than with the traditional low density.

The grapes were harvested on September 6-15, lightly crushed, and fermented in small stainless steel tanks with our own indigenous yeast. The wine was aged in premium French oak barrels, 28% new, coopered by Marchive from the forest of Bertranges and Rousseau from the Center of France. It was bottled, unfined and unfiltered, in August 2017.

Intense aromas of dark fruits like cassis and black cherries, with hints of fennel. On the palate, it is savory and complex, with notes of roasted meats and forest floor. The rich but supple tannins ensure that this wine will continue to develop for at least 15-20 years. I would recommend serving it at cellar temperature, between 58-60° F, and it will benefit from decanting.