Seven acres of estate vines perch on the front of the 203- acre Lichen Estate in the Anderson Valley Appellation. Prepared in 2007 and planted in 2008 on meter-by-meter spacing, the vineyard comprised 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Gris vines on 15% to 35% southeast-facing slopes. Farmed 100% organically. Six blocks and four clones of Pinot Noir (Martini, Wadenswil, Pommard & 667) on three rootstocks (101-14, 420A, and 161-49). Two blocks of Pinot Gris (148 &152) on two rootstocks (161-49 and SO4). The 2012 vintage maarked the vineyard's fifth leaf, and its first substantial crop. Average yield:1.67 pounds per vine.
Fermentation: 14-17 days in 450 gallon stainless tanks; 1.1 to 1.7 ton lots; 5 to 6 day cold soaks; gentle pump-overs followed by hand punch-downs; and 2 to 3 day extended maceration. Cooperage: Francoise Frere, 3 year dried, extra tight grain wood, medium plus toast. Seventeen months in barrel. Racked at 9 months, with some battonage (rolled the barrels to stir lees) during the first 9 months.
Classic brilliant ruby color jewels your glass before you lift it. Aromas of bright red cherry and creamy vanilla hint at darker fruits and spices to come. The wine enters with the dense layers and polished tannins of an age-worthy Burgundy, then unfurls its flavors in waves: red and black plums, raspberry, fig, allspice, and porcini mushrooms glide with the texture of raw silk. The finish returns the cherries and lifts an elegant toasty note from the wine's French oak aging. All the complexity you could wish for, with the purity of place of this organic single vineyard. Decant if you drink now.