2005 Reliz Creek Pinot Noir
This vintage of Reliz Creek Pinot Noir has refreshing aromas of strawberry cream and vanilla. Flavors of black cherry and cranberry are followed by a smooth, long, fruity finish, with undertones of aromatic cigars.
This wine was named after the creek that runs through the Wente family’s estate vineyards in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey, where Wente Vineyards has been growing Pinot Noir since the 1960s. It is the ideal region to grow this Burgundian varietal because of the long, cool growing season, which allows the grapes to fully ripen and develop deep fruit flavors. The gravelly-loam soils found here, rich with shale and limestone deposits, impart desirable earthy and mineral qualities to the wine. There are several blocks dating back to 1963, which are planted with the old Pommard and Martini clones. Neighboring these are much more recent, high-density plantings that include a variety of new clones. All of the fruit is hand picked and sorted.
The fermentation took place in small, upright, stainless steel fermenters. The fermenting must was gently pumped-over twice daily.
After fermentation, the Pinot Noir was racked into a mix of new and used French and American oak barrels for a total aging period of 10 months and then blended with the Barbera prior to bottling, which intensifies the fruit components of this wine.