2016 Chardonnay, Signature Selection, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Pineapple, mango and peach aromas lead to juicy fruit flavors of ripe peach, sweet spices, pineapple, basically loaded with tropical fruit notes. The blend of the two Chardonnay lots adds both fruit forward qualities and a creamy texture. Highlighted by bright acidity, the wine finishes clean and refreshing. Drink now, no aging required.
Vineyard and Winemaking Notes
Spring rain and perfect growing conditions during summer accelerated the ripening of the grapes and we began harvesting Chardonnay on September 16. The warm growing season with moderate temperatures offered ideal conditions for the grapes and, as a result, they had great natural acidity, intense quality and well-developed sugars. Sourced from four vineyards located at the southern end of Dry Creek Valley, they benefit from the cool microclimate and alluvial soils near the Russian River and produce wines of exceptional fruit and balance, culminating in Chardonnay of great character and quality.
At Pedroncelli Winery, the winemaking goal is simple: showcase the distinctive fruit of each varietal. This focus on fruit is particularly important in creating the style of Chardonnay that is our trademark. Due to the ideal harvest conditions and excellent quality this vintage has high intensity of tropical fruit aromas and flavors. We use stainless steel tanks to ferment 88% of the wine, capturing the fresh fruit flavors. The balance was separately barrel fermented in American oak barrels and aged for six months before being combined. The barrel fermentation and secondary or “malolactic” fermentation added some creamy notes giving a boost of complexity to the finished wine.
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Barrel Aging: 12% of the blend was fermented and aged in American oak for 6 months
Total Acidity: .535g/100mg
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Block 007 Estate, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Ripe blackberry and plum aromas lead to touches of oregano, pepper and smoky oak. Berry flavors combine with tobacco and dried herbs, typical of the Dry Creek Valley terroir. A long earthy finish with lasting fruit is simply elegant. Good acidity and medium tannins lead to great aging potential. Obviously this wine has no connection to a world famous British Special Agent. It’s simply the name of a vineyard block Sauvignon, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Vineyard and Winemaking Notes
Our vineyards are assigned block numbers to identify them as they are planted. Block 007 refers to one portion of our vineyard located a mile west of the winery, on the eastern bench above Dry Creek and has caught the attention of our winemaking team because it consistently produces fruit of singular quality. Block 007 Of the 105 acres we have planted to vineyard, we grow a total of 28 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon. We first planted Cabernet Sauvignon in the mid 1960s. Block 007 was planted in 1992—on the Scott Henry trellis system which splits the cordon arms into a double tier with the upper arm usually bearing about 3 tons of grapes per acres while the lower arm bears about 2 tons per acre. This is for optimum ripeness. The vineyard land is well drained, right next to Canyon Creek where it is gravelly and ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.
The grapes were picked on September 14 following a drought influenced growing season which accelerated ripening of Cabernet Sauvignon. The results are a high concentration of flavors and aromas with mild acids defining this vintage. The juice and berries are cold soaked for 48 hours and then inoculated with the Bordeaux yeast strain. Fermentation in our small capacity temperature controlled stainless steel tank gave optimal skin/juice ratio and better extraction of flavor and color. After pressing the young wine it was transferred to a storage tank and later put into small French and American oak barrels to age for sixteen months with 35% new French oak.
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Composition: Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Barrel Aging: 16 months in 35% new French and American oak barrels
Total Acidity: .630g/100mg
2016 Pinot Noir, Signature Selection, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
Aromas of rose petals, pomegranate and nutmeg greet the nose. Flavors follow with strawberry and black plum, toasty oak notes framed by bright acidity. Light bodied, smooth with a long finish and balanced with mild tannins. An elegant and tasteful Pinot Noir.
Vineyard and Winemaking Notes
The fruit for our Pinot Noir comes from four growers spread over the northern area of the Russian River Valley. The Frank Johnson Vineyard continues as a source of Pinot Noir, spanning 30 years, and is combined with three other growers: Harrich, Lynzabeth, and Brooks, all within a few miles of each other. Pinot Noir grown in the cool climate of the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County is regularly influenced by the intrusion of cooling evening fog from the Pacific Ocean a few miles to the west. This natural air-conditioning allows the grapes to develop full flavor maturity over an extended growing season while retaining the all-important natural acidity. Combined with a diverse complexity of soil types along with the vineyard sources creates a wine that reflects all the best of this growing region. The 2016 growing season brought plenty of rain to the vineyards and perfect growing conditions followed during summer with even heat and great ripening environment. The grapes were harvested over the first week of September.
Destemmed and crushed grapes go to temperature controlled fermenter for 5 days of cold soaking at ~50F (pre-fermentation) with a daily pump over for extraction of color, aromatics and tannins. After that period fermentation starts. Fermenting at ~75F to better extract the aromatics of the Pinot Noir fruit, during fermentation we have a regime of three pump overs a day to achieve the right extraction, until dry. Then pressed and sent to storage tanks and later moved to barrels for aging. The round and polished texture of this wine comes not only from the high quality fruit but also judicious use of oak—the wine was aged for 8 months in small French oak barrels with 25% new oak.
The year was 1927. President Calvin Coolidge captured the imagination of nobody. Babe Ruth hit home run after home run powered by little more than whiskey and sausage. And John Pedroncelli, Sr. bought a vineyard and winery in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County. Since then, four generations of Pedroncellis have weathered Prohibition, wine booms and busts, and changing tastes. And they’re still a family-owned operation making acclaimed premium wines. Wherever you are now, Sultan of Swat and Silent Cal, this next glass is for you.
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FedEx Ground: Monday, August 13th - Wednesday, August 15th
@trent Thanks for your notes. This is more “old world” style (as are most of our wines) than most Pinot’s coming out of Sonoma County these days. Good call on the stone fruit. I love this wine. (and I’ve been known to “taste” through an entire bottle myself!)
@pedroncellifam agreed. it could pass for a burgundy. not much of the old world minerality, but not all of the fruitiness of Sonoma. If anyone has been looking for a Pinot that tastes half way from California to France (maybe closer to 70% of the way) this is your wine.
Pedroncelli has made quite decent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for a long time, though most people probably know Pedroncelli best for for Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon (which ages very well if you have the patience), and other warmer weather reds.
Unless you’ve completely maxed out your wine budget (and still smoking credit card) for the next few years with the recent rpm Magical History Tour in Lodi and Amador, this is an rpmAutoBuy.
If you’re in Sonoma County, you should go see the Pedroncellis.
You can be sure that the next time there is an rpm Magical History Tour for newbies in the Sonoma and Napa county region, Pedroncelli will be on our list as a winery both delicious and historical…
@rpm Rob- Do you remember the old Bercut and Vandervoot label? We’ve been making a varietal Pinot since the early '60s. Of course in those days it was nearly half Petite Sirah…whodda thunk!? I Love the more recent Pinots. So much more true to the varietal and where it’s grown. RRV gives us the nice fruit you find from Oregon and the earthiness of Burgundy. Good juice!
@rpm Yes, in the 60’s and early 70’s when you and I were just children!! I just asked Jim and he said they were, at one time “sole distributors” for us. Casa de Fruita, Fairmont Hotel just a couple of the labels…lots of fun trivia!
@trent@Winedavid49 no immediate plans, but give Colin a call in the office. 800-836-3894. If you purchased on the ‘other’ platform, you are in our system and get Club benefits. (discounts and shipping advantages on mixed cases)
I mentioned my love for the Pinot, but thought I might chime in on the Chard and Cab.
Signature Selection Chardonnay: This is a nice bright chardonnay. 88 percent is all stainless–12% barrel fermented and aged, blended back before bottling. This allows us to retain the beautiful tropical fruit flavors forward. Look for a little stone fruit too (and I get a little Bartlett pear) Just a great glass of wine!
This Cab is a sleeper. So clearly Dry Creek Valley in style. Just a little dried herb on the nose. Oregano? Sage? Just enough pepper and spice to make it distinctively DCV. The body is what I’d define as “medium” and has just a bit higher acidity and lower pH which will give it longevity. The tannins are present but not overwhelming–and they are fruit tannins, not wood tannins. This is important to note. There’s a bit of chalkiness without being excessively astringent. This is a killer buy at $26 and ridiculous at these prices…hmmm @winedavid we need to talk!
Finally some Ped shipped to Mass!! Very excited to taste.
Definitely a fave @ WW, but never had a chance to purchase because shipping was not available to Ma. In for a case. Just bought a case of the Noceto too… did I mention my daughter got married on Saturday! I’m not complaining but my bank account and credit cards are.
Good evening / day,
Apologies for the delay, I had the pleasure of receiving the Pedroncelli Cabernet Sauvignon v.2015 Sonoma County Dry Creek Valley - Block 007 Estate as part of the Lab Rat program. This bottle was uncorked at 9:48 pm EDT on the 24th of July. A sampling was poured into a Burgundy glass shortly thereafter. Initial impressions this Cabernet has great color and a decent amount of legs.
Additional information is forthcoming from today’s tasting.
@dschonew Full disclosure, I am not a sommelier and I don’t play one on TV, but I did enjoy Somm (2012) The second tasting last night was of a wine that had opened up quite a bit with some moderate swirling in a small decanter. The first and second tastings were great. I would recommend this cabernet just based on my first two impressions. The notes for the tasting(s) on the 25th will be posted shortly.
@dschonew Day two of tasting:
Since this is a fairly young cabernet sauvignon it likely can stand a fair amount of cellaring but it has been great both the day of opening and the second day. In order to expedite the decanting process the remainder of the bottle was poured into a small/medium decanter. It was agressively swirled/shaken late on the 24th and allowed to rest over night.
The decanter was gently swirled at 9:24 pm on the 25th of July. The first glass was poured shortly thereafter. The wine opened up even more, the legs were still quite present, the color continues to impress, and the nose is pleasant. Nothing was overpowering and overall this is a pleasant and well balanced cabernet sauvignon. Two more glasses were consumed and continued to impress. I have no complaints about this offering and would recommend it as part of this three wine offering.
A rat report, we shall begin.
2016 Pedroncelli Chardonnay. Checking in at 46 degrees Fahrenheit, the chardonnay resembles clarified straw. Smooth and reflective, the Chardonnay presents with oak, and slight bits of curiosity. Playfully sipping on the beverage of yellow, I find the bubbly taste exquisite, refined, and Fantastic!
@alacercogitatus Quick update - Apologies for the lateness on this review. A combination of late delivery and 2" of rain in the basement caused delay. Having the ability to perform a retrospective, the second sampling proved even as good as the first. Upping the temperature to a reasonable 52 degrees of Fahrenheit, I noticed mild notes of pepper, to say, it is still sweet and smooth, but with a firmer “bite” at the finish. We shall enjoy this wine, as we stare at soggy memories. Prosit!
LAB RAT REPORT - 2015 Pendroncelli Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County Dry Creek Valley - Block 007
DISCLAIMER: I am no stranger to Pedroncelli. I first tried its wines through that “other” website and instantly became a fan. I buy ‘em by the case! Especially the outstanding rose - one year I personally purchased all the remaining stock that Pedroncelli had.
PEDRONCELLI: On the last WW History Tour that I attended, it was my pleasure to sit next to Ed (who-puts-the-“Ed”-in-Pedroncelli) St. John at lunch. I told him of my affinity for Pedroncelli wines, explaining somewhat awkwardly that they had a certain “liveliness” that I do not find in other wines. Even the reds. I told him that I’d compared the Pedroncelli varietals and alcohol levels and found them similar to other wines, but that Pedroncelli wines still stand apart. They’re just more…energetic. I felt silly describing the wine this way, but those were the only words that captured my experience.
Much to my surprise, Ed did not laugh in my face. Instead, he explained that the “liveliness” that I was tasting was a factor of the pH of the wine. Ahh…lightbulb moment. I learned a great deal during that lunch, and on the days that followed. But the most important lesson was this: trust your own palate.
Nice dark fruit and spiciness on the nose upon opening. Initial notes of lush black cherry/blackberry give way to a drier black current. I initially experienced the previously-mentioned “chalkiness” on the finish, but this seemed to dissipate a bit as the wine opened up. I also picked up a note of plums mid-palate after the wine relaxed. (Or maybe it was me who relaxed.)
The wine is pleasantly balanced between fruit and tannin, which results in a “roundness” in mouthfeel. Although the wine has sufficient structure to provide a good finish, the overall effect leans more to “juicy” than “astringent." Notably missing is the bitterness that I often find in Napa cabs.
All in all, a nice, well-made wine. I suppose I could cook something to pair with it, but I think it’s just great for sipping on its own.
What clones were used? Many Napa cabs that heavily use clones 4 and 7 are much too bitter for me. But Bell Wine Cellars clone 6 rocks my world! So I’m eager to learn if these preferences are merely shaped by the Napa expression of these clones or whether I have an inherent affinity for one clone over another.
When, oh, WHEN is Pedroncelli going to package its wondrous rose in a box?! It is quaffed at such frequency at my house that I feel guilty in creating so many empty bottles. And when I bring some to share at an event, one bottle is never enough! If it were available, I would be most pleased to purchase 3L boxes by the case, too! I can’t be the only one…
Clone? We are supposed to know the clone 25 years ago? …these are not the clones you are looking for. Let them pass… I think this is more about soil and style. This isn’t intended to be a Christmas wine “tannin bomb” (see what I did there?) No extended maceration, just an expression of AVA, variety and vintage.
2) Rose in a box: it’s called a case. We offer club benefits to “FOD’s” Friends Of David. And they are in self tapping containers. Stop whining about packaging and call Colin. He’ll hook you up with discounts and shipping favors. Gosh I’ve missed the op to be snarky! 800-836-3894
This isn’t intended to be a Christmas wine “tannin bomb” (see what I did there?)
Several years ago, molarchae and I decided the best possible name for a Woot Cellars wine would have been a Christmas wine called Oh Tannin Bomb. It would have to be a PS, of course. @WineDavid49 never took us up on the idea!! We got Bonus Level instead (which, to be fair, is a pretty cool label as well).
Oh my happy face showed up this A.M. when I opened casemate and saw this. Not a fan of any PN but, to get the others I am all over this. Anyone in the N.Dallas area wanting the PN…let me know. The Chard
and Cab are keepers:)