The 2013 harvest will be remembered as a season of near perfect growing conditions. It was also one of our driest seasons on record. By mid-January, it seemed that Mother Nature turned off the rain spigot. Overall, winter was extremely mild. Spring bud-break was normal with frost of little or no concern. The summer growing season was outstanding with moderate temperatures. A few heat spikes in late May and early June had us thinking it would be an unusually warm summer. However, July, August and September were beautiful with moderate temperatures. Harvest conditions were excellent. Yields were normal and the quality was superb with all varietals achieving optimal ripeness levels.
The number preceding the NV indicates how many Notebook blends we have produced. For over 30 years we have been crafting wines that are more compelling and interesting than single vintage and varietal wines by employing the centuries-old practice of blending wine lots from multiple vintages (Vertical Blending) with multiple grape varieties (Horizontal Blending)*.Each lot of wine is carefully selected each year for Notebook Red Blend based upon the mature flavors of the older vintages and the vibrant fruit characteristics of the younger vintages. The result is a wine that offers, fruit, structure, approachability and exceptional value. *Reference the blending cross on the label.
North of Ukiah, a rare white deer herd wanders through the hills near the southwest facing foothill vineyard that grew this Cabernet Sauvignon. This full-flavored wine shows the intensity of its red soil roots. It is ripe and plumy, with intriguing notes of anise and brown spice, and the structure to age five years or more from the vintage. This wine is the unique expression of a carefully nurtured piece of land, made manifest in each bottle. We do without conventional pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, treating the soil as a living, life-giving system. Our winegrowing practices create special wines, while sustaining our environment, the place where we live, and the people who live here.
The 2011 growing season got off to a late start because of an unusually wet and cool spring. Temperatures all through the summer were cool, rarely rising above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally in mid-September, temperatures reached mid-90’s for a week or so which was just what the winemakers needed. Due to the weather, crop yields were generally smaller than usual, yet ironically this allowed for faster ripening and more concentrated fruit flavors. The small harvest of 2011 affected every wine region in Northern California, our 2011 Sivas-Sonoma Pinot Noir was no exception. Given our long term relationships with Sangiacomo and Jeff Hill Family Vineyards we were able to select some of the best Pinot Noir available to create this well balanced and appealing wine.
The 2011 season was fraught with many weather related challenges. Our viticulture team however, was up to the task, carefully managing the vineyard and providing us fruit with near perfect ripeness levels. Winter rains were plentiful and lasted well into the late spring and early summer. The summer growing season was unseasonably cool. Harvest was temperate and canopy management was key to achieve optimal ripeness in the grapes. Unwelcome rains came later into harvest. Fortunately, much of our fruit was already picked and safely at the winery.