Sonoma-Cutrer today announced Vintage 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, with a Woodford Reserve barrel finish, as part of its Winemaker’s Release series.
The Sonoma-Cutrer Owsley and Vine Hill vineyards in the Russian River Valley provided the pinot noir for this vintage. Owsley vineyard brings temperature changes for concentrated flavors, the company says, while Vine Hill provided fruit grown at a more-than-400-feet elevation change.
Grapes were hand-picked and sorted before destemming. During the four-day cold soak, and the eight-to-twelve-day fermentation, the wine was punched down by hand in small, open-top fermenters. On completion of fermentation the wine was basket pressed and gravity racked into the barrels. This pinot noir aged in a one-third regimen of new, one-year- and two-year-old French oak. After maturing for 11 months, the final blend then further aged another four months in freshly emptied Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels.
“The first time we trialed finishing maturation of our Pinot in Woodford Reserve barrels, I thought we were crazy,” says Mick Schroeter, Sonoma-Cutrer director of winemaking. “We did our first trial in 2016 and a second follow-up trial in 2017 before we got the right amount of aging and amazing bourbon notes, which enhanced our V’18 Winemaker’s Release. I have to say, we are thrilled with the final result!”
The Winemakers Release is a series of limited-production wines offered annually. Sonoma-Cutrer’s V’18 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Woodford Reserve Barrel Finish is available now in select markets for a suggested retail price of $49.99.