Crosby Roamance Valentine’s Day Special 2016
In 2013 we were approached by a friend who manages vineyards. On offer were five short rows of Dijon-clone Pinot Noir vines grown in exceptionally cool conditions at the very southernmost edge of Napa Valley, in the community of American Canyon. On some nights, from here on the water’s edge, you can see the lights of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco twinkling in the distance.
The vineyards in American Canyon ascend the gently rising Vaca foothills east of Highway 29. In some ways, this place is unglorified and unglamorous, but that’s one of the things we love about it … how in so many ways this stretch of gently rising vineyard land running along the coast of San Pablo Bay is so very un-Napa.
The fruit displayed very ripe raspberry and cherry cola flavors; although delightful, it needed balance. So we decided to look for another small lot of Pinot that could provide a counterpoint. We found it at a small, family owned vineyard in Carneros known colloquially as the Pig Farm, where a small selection of 38 year old heritage-selection Pinot Noir vines grow. It tasted woodsy and feral, with spice, dried herbs and musque.
We harvested both vineyards the same day. The friend who introduced us to the American Canyon vineyard picked that fruit with his crew; we harvested the Pig Farm fruit with Eric Arvai, Nathanial “Bananas” Foster, and Ben Kopman. Eric, Bananas, Ben, and Sean took turns rotating the old hand crank to destem the fruit, which took four hours. (Bananas claims he was stung in the eye by a bee in the process. It was our first — and to this day, only — harvest injury.) We spent the rest of the night drinking 2009 Dark Garden Cabernet Sauvignon, and eating pizza, and telling jokes, like the first night we all bottled our first wine, in Yountville, not so many years ago.
Both lots of Pinot Noir fermented on indigenous yeasts, and we pressed in small batches over two days, again by hand, after seventeen days on the skins. We racked the young wine to three once-used barrels and one new half-barrel, all French. The wine completed malolactic fermentation in barrel slowly, and remained on its lees for another twelve months. We racked and blended the wine to tank after twenty months in barrel and bottled with neither fining nor filtration.
The 2013 Pinot Noir Napa Valley is plush and soft and warm and fruity. The American Canyon fruit lends it tart raspberry and confectioner sugar qualities; the Carneros fruit lends it a woodsy and earthy substance. While young, it drinks beautifully now and will age wonderfully for 5-8 years.
For a limited time we are offering a Valentine’s Day Special including two bottles of Pinot Noir and a two-truffle box from Kollar Chocolates. Limited to one special per person.
Members of the inner circle can add the Valentine’s Day Special by logging into their accounts or contacting Juliana@crosbyroamann.com.