Wine Club Selection: Joseph Jewell, 2009 Pinot Noir, Floodgate Vineyard

Joseph Jewell RRV Pinot Floodgate Vyrd Bottle Pinot Selections wine club wineI discovered this wine at the 2012 Family Winemakers event where I met the two (impossibly!) young owners – Micah Joseph Wirth and Adrian Jewell Manspeaker.  

Micah brought the winemaking experience to the partnership, while Adrian contributed business and construction experience (a helpful background when things break down in the cellar during the fevered rush of harvest, which is exactly when things choose to break. Yes, Murphy’s Law is alive and well in the wine industry!)

Without a winery of their own, they rent space and equipment from the Peay Vineyards facility in Cloverdale.  And as any of my long-term customers know, there are few better producers, or facilities, one could hope to find than Peay Vineyards’.  When asked why they chose this facility the answer came quickly “because they hand us the keys and let us do our own thing!”  So this wine is completely Joseph and Adrian’s creation, made with equipment they could never hope to own as new producers just out of the gate.

Note, the Floodgate vineyard was also used for one of the Pinots I previously selected from Cartograph wines – a popular selection from our August Pinot Selections wine club shipment.  If they’re not careful, the folks at Floodgate will develop a reputation for selecting and supporting hot young winemakers. In fact, I think they already have.

Tasting Notes:
A subtle pinot nose with earthy aromas and bright, sweet cherries, black tea, raspberries and spice notes of cinnamon, clove and leather. The palate shows delicate fruit against a very firm structure that suggests a few years in bottle will see a nicely matured wine. A subtle, delightful food wine that uses oak as a seasoning instead of a major, in-your-face starring role (30% new for 10 months). The lighter alcohol (13.8%) and good acidity (pH of 3.42, TA of 6.2 g/L) hint at its Old World sensibilities. A Scrooge-like 250 cases produced.

Joseph Jewell, 2009 Pinot Noir, Floodgate Vineyard, $39.


Dave “the Wine Merchant” Chambers

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