2019 Black Road Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley
Black Road Vineyard is the perfect illustration of Jim Pratts 30-plus years of winegrowing. He has planted some of the most gorgeous and expressive vineyards in Russian River Valley by purposefully matching clones to their unique microclimates. At Black Road Vineyard, the Dijon Clones are a winning combination. Clone 114 is soft and forward with a lovely texture and Clone 115 contributes aromatics and structure for good cellaring potential.
From a 2 acre plot owned by a couple of former Santa Rosa High School Teachers, the Black Road exemplifies the ethos of La Follette wines. After clearing the land themselves, the owners hired Jim Pratt, arguably Sonoma's most respected vineyard manager, to develop the site. Sitting in the Southern reaches of the Russian River AVA, the ground is flat with slightly richer soil. For this reason, Jim planted two black fruited and structured clones of Pinot Noir (114/115). The color is ruby, bordering on garnet and aromas of raspberry, bing cherry and cocoa powder jump out of the glass. Here you think that it will be a big cherry cola bomb, but wait! The acidity and tannin from these particular clones don't let that happen. The result is a delightful tension with counterpoints of fruit and bitterness that struggle with each other on a path to a long, focused cherry and cranberry driven finish. Jim Pratt's expertise and farming, handed over to Hugh Chappelle to produce a wine that exemplifies the mystique of Pinot Noir. That is Black Road and that is La Follette!
92 points, Wine Enthusiast
92, points, Wine Spectator
100% Pinot Noir | 64% Clone 114, 36% Clone 115>
Fermentation: all native primary and secondary ferments, matured in barrel, 25% new oak (4 out 15 barrels)>