2016 Yu-ki Estate Pinot Noir

Set above the town of Occidental, Yu-ki Estate is located just five miles from the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 1,000 feet. We purchased this remarkable site in 2007 and named it for Akiko’s nephew in Japan. One translation of Yu-ki is “big tree,” which is a fitting name for a property surrounded by old-growth redwoods. We planted the estate with our favorite heritage and Dijon Pinot Noir clones, and to preserve the property’s majestic redwoods, we donated 22 acres to the Bodega Land Trust.

Yu-ki is made up of seven Pinot Noir blocks, five of which are currently in production. The vineyard includes three Dijon clones (114, 667 and 828) and two Swiss clones (Mariafeld/clone 23 and Wadenswil/clone 2A). In the coming years we will see two new blocks enter into production, planted to the heritage clones of Mt. Eden and Calera.

Emerging from four straight years of drought, 2016 was the “almost-back- to-normal” vintage for coastal California. Rainfall was just below average, and the weather finally returned to the ideal pattern we’d been missing since 2012: foggy mornings followed by cool, sunny afternoons. Beautiful spring weather helped Yu-ki set its first significant crop since the vineyard was planted, and we were delighted to be able to choose our favorite Yu-ki barrels to create this wine.

The 2016 Yu-ki Estate Pinot Noir (our third-ever vintage of this wine) shows the promise of a great, young vineyard coming into its own. The nose offers deep, berry aromas with a hint of the intriguing Sonoma Coast spice so often found in the Pinot vineyards around Occidental. Framed by well-balanced natural acidity, the palate is lush and fruity, with soft tannins. Some interesting savory notes also come into play as the Yu-ki opens up in the glass. This wine should be at its best from late 2018 through 2024.

Specs

Vineyards
  • 100% Yu-ki Estate, Sonoma Coast
Clones
  • 30% Mariafeld (clone 23)
  • 28% Dijon 667
  • 18% Wadenswil (clone 2A)
  • 16% Dijon 114
  • 8% Dijon 828
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
14 months in French oak:
  • 12% new
  • 12% one-year-old
  • 38% two-year-old
  • 38% three-year-old
Bottling
August 3, 2017
Production
  • 750 ml: 308 cases cases
  • 1.5 L: 20 cases cases

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