2014 Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir

This Freeman vineyard-designated Pinot Noir comes from Marcy Keefer's ranch, located in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, on Green Valley School Road. The Russian River Valley is a broad appellation, encompassing several different microclimates. It is warm enough in the northern part for grapes like Zinfandel and Cabernet, but in the southern and western parts, it is much cooler, and is perfectly suited for Pinot Noir. Keefer Ranch sits in the center of the Green Valley sub-appellation, located in the southwestern portion of the Russian River Valley; and it has always been considered one of California's ideal spots for Pinot Noir. Marcy and her small crew hand-farm the Keefer Ranch year round with no outside help at all.

2014 proved to be challenging as California entered its third year of historic drought. The vines got off to a very early start with a warm and dry January and February. A fair amount of March rain gave the vineyards enough water to last through most of the growing season, but then April cooled down considerably, with several mornings below freezing. Since Keefer Ranch sits on very low ground, they did have some frost damage. 2014 yielded the smallest crop we have seen at Keefer in 11 vintages.

The 2014 Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir is a dark ruby color, and is larger-framed than most Keefer wines we have made in the past. The Keefer is usually one of the earliest drinking of our Pinots, but this ’14 will take some time. It starts with a typical clone 23 nose of rose petals and plums. On the palate the wine is balanced, with plenty of ripe tree fruit, acid and tannin. Ripe cherry flavors carry into a long, dry finish.

The drinking window should be between 2017 and 2015.

Specs

Vineyards
  • 100% Keefer Ranch, Russian River Valley
Clones
  • 58% Clone 23
  • 42% Dijon 777
Fermentation
Five day cold soak in open top fermenters, hand punched down one to three times per day, free run sent directly to barrel, press wine settled and barreled separately
Barrel Aging
11 months in French oak
  • 32% new
  • 47% one year-old
  • 21% two year-old
Bottling
July, 2015
Production
  • 750 ml: 400 cases
  • 1.5 L: 18 cases

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