Today we are concluding our look at Foley Estates winery. Last week we talked about two of their Chardonnays and today we are covering two of their Pinot Noirs. One of them comes from the classic Foley line, while the other comes from the select Two Sisters label, made from only the best fruit from Foley’s Rancho Las Hermanas estate vineyard.
Wine #1: Foley 2008 Santa Rita Hills “Barrel Select” Pinot Noir
Foley’s Barrel Select Pinot Noir is a blend of select fruit from throughout their 230 acre Rancho Santa Rosa estate vineyard. The vineyard is actually divided into 59 specific blocks according to individual terroir conditions, and each is carefully tended as if it was its own vineyard. South facing slopes at between 500 and 1,000 feet elevation provide the vines with optimal sunshine to fully ripen the fruit, while the cool, maritime influenced climate gives it restraint and precision.
Following an early morning harvest (when temperatures are cooler) and destemming, individual fermentations of free run juice took place on the skins over 14 to 38 days. Following fermentation the wine aged in French oak barrels, 80% of them new, for a little under two years.
Red fruit dominates the aroma of this wine, with cherry, red plum, and cranberry tones showing through strongly. An almost equally strong secondary aroma of leather and vineyard dust shows as well, with hints of caramel, cream, and spice displaying the influence of new oak.
The palate is dense, ripe, and packed with bright fruit flavors. Cherry, raspberry, and red plum make up the wine’s core, with light hints of wildflowers showing around the edges. There is a fascinating earthy undertone to this wine that is reminiscent of vineyard dust and soil, with just a bit of suede appearing toward the finish. This is an interesting wine, with nice integration of fruit and earth elements.
Worth Trying. 91 points.
Wine #2: Foley 2008 Santa Rita Hills “Two Sisters” Pinot Noir
This wine’s fruit is sourced from the red varietal dominated, Lindsay’s vineyard, on the Rancho Las Hermanas property. With clone specific selection of fruit and French oak aging, these wines are meant to represent the Rancho Las Hermanas vineyard at its best.
Cherry, mixed red berries, and cranberry show at first on the nose, with an interesting rhubarb tone showing through faintly, reminding of the cool coastal climate. Pipe tobacco, white pepper, and just a subtle hint of oak-based caramel open up with a light spin in the glass.
Ripe red fruit drives the palate, with mixed berries, cherries, and plums showing all at once. This is a smooth and well structured wine from the very first sip. The same pipe tobacco, white pepper, and caramel from the aroma show on the mid palate, and last into the finish with the ripe red fruit flavors. With lots of dense flavor, good intensity, and a bright acidity that keeps it all lively, this is a very nicely made and easy to enjoy wine.
Worth Trying. 90 points.
Please Leave a Comment:
The Grapevine: What’s your favorite California Pinot Noir?