Pinot Noir Old School Clones:
1.5 acres planted
The Pommard selection has been available in California for a number of years, and can often work great as a “stand-alone” clone. It is sometimes known for having a meaty/gamey edge, but for us, it typically expresses itself through very pure dark fruits. Historically, we have fermented these lots with about 1/3 whole clusters, which has proven successful.
3.1 acres planted
One of the oldest clones in the state, the Mount Eden clone was reportedly brought to California in the 1890s by Paul Masson from one of Louis Latour’s Burgundian vineyards. Locally, it also has an interesting history as is was used to plant the Sanford & Benedict vineyard in the early 1970s and the subsequent cuttings started the pinot noir at Lafond in the early 1980s. We procured budwood from Lafond in 1998 to graft into our estate. This clone is very dark and rich and offers tremendous bass tones to the wine. We typically experiment with a variety of levels of stem inclusion, all of which work successfully. Similar to the Pommard clone, Mount Eden also displays completeness standing on its own.
1.2 acres planted
This clone is also of historic significance being propagated by Joseph Swan in the Russian River Valley. This block on our estate is part of our Terraces section, and is severely influenced by its wind exposure. Due to the battered condition of the clusters upon picking, we traditionally de-stem the entirety of this clone. It displays beautiful, bright fruit with moderate richness.
.9 acres planted
Also known as Jackson clone, receives its name from an experimental vineyard near the town of Jackson in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California, which was planted in 1889. This clone is rarely bottled on its own because of how few plantings there are, and because it lends itself well for blending with other clones of pinot noir. However, the small amount with which we work (typically in conjunction with clone 16 mentioned below), has produced light to moderate weight wines with beautiful aromatics.
.7 acres planted
Like the clone 9, the majority of this section is farmed for another client, with the small portion that we receive being mentioned above.
2.6 acres planted
Also known as the Wadenswil selection, clone 2A has been planted quite significantly in both California and Oregon. It has similar characteristics to clone 115, and seems quite complete on its own.
1.4 acres planted
We acquired this clone of Pinot Noir from Calera and planted it in 2004. The back story is; in 1973 Calera received cuttings from another California vineyard who said the original source was from a quality vineyard in Burgundy (Cote d’Or).
Pinot Noir Dijonaisse Clones:
4.2 acres planted
One of the “teen” series of Dijonnaise clones, clone 113 is perhaps the most elegant with perfume aromatics. It is typically seen as an aromatic component with very high-toned elements in the nose. When properly managed, the wine can possess nice weight and body as well. To amplify the prettiness of the wine, we generally de-stem the entirety of the fruit.
4.5 acres planted
The second in the series, clone 114 is unfortunately sometimes overlooked despite the fact that it is a very significant selection. Clone 114 is very dark, soft and rich which makes it a great cohesive element to the final wine. Due to that particular nature, it also responds well to stems with which we are quite liberal. This clone makes up approximately fifty percent of Carrie’s.
19.2 acres planted
By far the most widely planted of this clonal grouping, clone 115 is undeniably the most important clone in the past decade or so of California vineyard development. If we were forced to select only one clone, we would unanimously agree upon this one. Clone 115 works great on its own, and serves as the spine to our entire pinot noir program. We currently have this clone planted in seven separate sections on three different rootstocks. In addition to its contribution to the estate wine, it makes up fifty percent of Carrie’s, a generous portion of Terraces and the entirety of our Indigene bottling.
8.4 acres planted
This clone (along with clone 777 mentioned below) came into the U.S. about five years after the “teen” series, and is also of Dijonnaise origin. Clone 667 is typically perceived to be a structure clone as it can be quite angular. It has very pure high tone aromas and great persistence in the mouth. Due to its inherent firmness, we typically opt to de-stem the majority of the fruit.
11.5 acres planted
This clone is experiencing a significant surge in planting similar to clone 115. It is known for being very dark and rich, and potentially appropriate to be produced on its own. While quite dark, it has yet to produce the velvety richness professed by a number of colleagues on our estate thus far. It has, however, resulted in very intriguing and complex wines that merit careful attention.
.6 acres planted
Grafted into our estate in the spring of 2004, we procured this budwood from Seasmoke Cellars. As the clone is very new in California, we are all eager to learn more about the resultant wines.
6.4 acres planted
Grafted and planted in our estate in the Spring of 2004, we are thrilled with the potential of this clone which is also quite new to us and is being very favorably considered by many. While a portion of the vines was brought in from a nursery, the majority was procured from Merry Edwards’ estate vineyard in Sonoma.