The home ranch of Emeritus Vineyards lies along Sonoma County’s Goldridge-an eight mile long, low ridge running from Sebastopol to Forestville in the lower reach of the Russian River Valley. The ranch lies in the sub-appellation Green Valley. The Goldridge is America’s Cote de Nuits, home to many top Pinot Noir producers. Most notable about Hallberg Ranch is that it is completely farmed without irrigation. Although the other vineyards of Emeritus are being weaned off their irrigation Hallberg has been the first to become totally independent of an artificial addition of water. Dry-farming helps the grapes achieve full physiological ripeness at lower sugar levels, with more complex taste components in heightened balance. With no dehydration, the vines become more naturally in balance with the soil and climate giving the wine a more pure expression of its unique terroir. Hallberg Ranch has rolling, ridge-top vineyards that are cooled by breezes and fog from the Pacific Ocean. They culminate daily during the grape maturation period in the same marine layer that covers San Francisco from late afternoon till mid-morning. These moderate daytime temperatures provide ideal growing seasons, ripening the grapes slowly and in perfect balance. When the nighttime fog cools the vineyards, most nights to below 50°F., this allows the grapes to retain the crucial acids that carry the flavors in the finished wine.
James Suckling 92 points – An upbeat and concentrated pinot with bright and pure red-cherry aromas and flavors. The palate has crunchy, assertively crisp tannins and a neatly resolved finish. Drink or hold. (Nov 2018)