There is always a fineness to Westside Road Neighbors, and the 2016 does not disappoint! The nose starts out with red cherry, wild berries, and plum, and brightens up with notes of juniper berry, citrus, and redwood shavings. A brooding element lurks in the background and evokes thoughts of Asian spices. With time in the glass, the wine opens up with aromas of flowers and lavender. The wine is very focused in the mouth, and has a very protracted mouthfeel. Flavors of raspberry, cherry, and cranberry, with a smoked meat finish are interwoven in the palate architecture. The full-bodied tannins are reminiscent of Oolong tea. Polished and balanced, the wine’s texture is superb and highlights the best of what Pinot Noir can be.
The Pinot Noir for this blend was sourced from neighboring vineyards along Westside Road: Allen, Bacigalupi, Bucher, Flax, Rochioli Riverblock, and our Williams Selyem Estate.
The 2016 vintage was an excellent growing season, and started out as the previous four vintages; with a warm and dry winter. Above average temperatures and modest rainfall in the winter months brought a normal bud break in all growing regions. The main difference in 2016 was cooler temperatures in late February, and increasing rain totals in March that helped slow down vegetative growth. The net result was a slightly longer vegetative cycle, a slower grape maturation cycle, and therefore a later harvest compared to 2015. These events allowed for perfect maturation of the grape tannins and flavor development. Flowering happened under normal conditions with a slight cooling trend in May, which ultimately prevented blockbuster yields. Temperatures after fruit set were normal, but as veraison approached there were a few heat spikes that jumpstarted the ripening process.
Harvest started with pleasant weather on August 10 in the Middle Reach Neighborhood vineyards (Westside Road). Weather in late August cooled, and by early September temperatures warmed up and dry conditions prevailed. The result was our core harvest was completed under ideal conditions by end of September.
Overall, the wines from the 2016 vintage exhibit wonderfully polished tannins due to long and slow grape maturation on the vine.