Floodgate Vineyard is located in the heart of Russian River Valley’s most coveted Pinot Noir sub-appellation known as the Middle Reach. It is here where the region’s most prestigious vineyards reside. This is one of our estate properties, and the future home of our new production facility. Block 4 (planted in 1971) is one of the oldest known plantings of Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley. Though producing less than one ton per acre, winemaker Gary Farrell insists the vineyard be preserved; not only for its historical significance, but the astounding wine quality produced from these old vines.

VINTAGE SUMMARY :Gary considers 2009 “the most enjoyable grape harvest” of his career. Though late-ripening varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, etc.) sustained significant damage from October rains, cool dry conditions prevailed throughout our entire harvest of Russian River Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Yields were modest but quality was universally high; with exceptionally clean fruit exhibiting optimum structure and flavor profiles. It’s truly an exciting opportunity to have such incredible raw materials from which to craft our wines.

This youthful wine proves that abundance and concentration is achievable, without the excessive weight, ripeness and alcohol. Alluring aromas of violet, fresh blackberry and stone fruits lead to an array of wild berries, fresh plum and black-pepper spice on the palate. Those flavors expand and become exotic, as hints of enriching oak and minerality emerge in the many waves of complexity. Refreshing vibrancy and supportive fine-grain tannins add further credibility and appeal to this firmly structured and wildly appealing wine. Though enjoyable now for its adolescent charms, a few years of carefully cellaring would pay great dividends.

Gary Farrell, winemaker


Floodgate Vineyard – Block 4, Martini Clone


Harvest date
September 13. Hand harvested at night under lights. Hand sorted in vineyard
Average brix
24.1 degrees
Grape Processing
Cold fruit processed early AM. Hand sorted prior to stem removal. Hard sorted after stem removal


Small open tops
Cold soak
4 days
Combination wild and cultured
3 manual punch down daily
11 days
ML fermentation in barrel. 100% French oak, Francois Freres, Rousseau. 40% new. 13 months in barrel


14.1% by volume
Titratable acidity
7.3 gm/L
Bottling date
November 30, 2010
240 cases (9 liter equivalent)

93 Points – “This refined and very good wine opens up with a mild boysenberry bouquet with a hint of RC Cola. On the palate, it is medium bodied, super balanced, very smooth and suave. The flavor profile is a very tasty mild plum with notes of gentle strawberry and a hint of oak and faint sarsaparilla. The finish is dry and its fine tannins are a tough dusty and sail along nicely. This Pinot Noir is very refined and extremely food friendly.” ~ Ken Hoggins, Ken’s Wine Guide, June 2012

92+ Points – “Medium ruby color and aromas of red berry fruit with mineral notes. It is elegant on the palate with ripe cherry fruit flavors, excellent acidity and firm round tannins on the finish.” ~ International Wine Review, June 2012

92 Points – “Rich, complex aromas of strawberry and cherry with spicy notes; deep, rich red cherry and strawberry flavors with cinnamon and spice notes; silky texture; good structure and balance; long finish. Bright, silky Pinot that’s drinking well now and will reward some cellar patience.” ~ Greg Walters, Pinot Report, September 2012

92 Points“Packed with tangy ripe blackberry, strawberry and plum flavors. Tannins are extremely fine and mild in overall intensity. The finish is dry and leaves a lingering raspberry chocolate flavor. Vibrant and very delicious Pinot Noir.” ~ _Tom Herman, Winecheer.com, August 2012

90+ Points – “Solid, rich aromatics of dark berry and plum with crumbled herbs. In the mouth, it shows bright, pliable cherry and violet on the mid palate with supple texture.” ~ Doug Wilder, Purely Domestic Wine Report, July 2012

90 Points – “The nose blends both upper and medium register red and dark berry fruit aromas along with hints of clove and anise. There is a sophistication mouth feel to the vibrant medium weight flavors as the supporting tannins are quite fine, indeed almost delicate. This is well-balanced, agreeably dry and offers solid persistence.” ~ Allen Meadows, Berghound, October 2012

90 Points – “Attractive, spicy, red berry fruit aroma with mineral notes and hints of clove and forest floor; medium-bull body; herbal, slightly tart, spicy, red fruit flavors with brisk acidity; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Nicely balanced and structured.” ~ Nick Ponomareff, California Grapevine, August 2012

Exceptional – “Dreamy aromatics with intense and vivid aromas of fresh Bing cherries, raspberries, spice and vanilla. Flavorful, but juicy and easy to drink, offering tastes of red cherries, herbs, sandalwood and graham, picking up intensity over time in the glass. Very elegantly crafted with soft, dry tannins, lively acidity and generous length.” ~ Rusty Gaffney, PinotFile, June 2012