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2019 Goosepen Block Estate Pinot Noir

2019 Goosepen Block Estate Pinot Noir
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It was clear something was different with the 2019 harvest when fruit flies were spotted
at Thistle Vineyard over Labor Day Weekend. The second sign was the dramatic shift in
the weather forecast. At the end of August, we believed we would have a “warmer and
drier” than average September/October. Sounds good huh?!?!? Then, at the end of
September we got 2.7” of rain… which is double the average, and we had one of the
coolest Septembers on record. We remembered and applied the key learnings from prior
similar vintages in our approach to the 2019 harvest – get the grapes as ripe as possible
with as little fruit degradation as possible. Even with a longer hang time this year the
grapes had less sugar, high pHs and high acids. Consequently, we based our picking
decision more on the taste of the juice and looking at the weather. We had 5 distinct rain
events from when we started harvest on September 3 to when we ended picking on
October 10th, and these individual rain events sometimes lasted multiple days. In the
end, we got as much ripeness as possible and are very happy about what we put into

The grapes from this block were carefully hand harvested on September 21st. The
clusters were then sorted by hand to remove any flawed bunches and 100% de-stemmed
directly into 3 ton stainless steel fermenters. The wine was inoculated with our house
native yeast and spent 14 days fermenting with cap management done with only punch
downs. This was a cooler vintage with long, cooler ferments. After being pressed at
dryness the wine was aged entirely in French oak barrels for 16 months with with 29%
new oak. 14 barrels were hand selected for this blend.

On the nose, this wine shines with notes of red cherry, craisin, allspice, toast, moss and
dried raspberry. On the palate, the cherry becomes darker, as the fruits and spice are
joined by oyster mushrooms.

This wine will pair with seared king trumpet mushrooms and beef tenderloin.

When Alex Sokol Blosser (our winemaker) was growing up, this block was not planted
to pinot noir, but to riesling. During this time Bill and Susan Sokol Blosser tried their
infamous and failed experiment of fencing it in and releasing a flock of geese to consume
the grass. Since then, the Sokol Blosser’s have always called it “Goosepen.” When we
had to re-plant the block due to Phylloxera, it was decided that the highest and best use
of that site was for pinot noir and not for riesling. This was not a failed experiment. To
this day, Goosepen is Alex’s favorite of our single vineyard blocks. It does not have the
rich tannins of its northern neighbor, Big Tree, nor the finesse of the Orchard Block. It
has fruit. A lot of rich fruit that can be heavy some years (2014) and complex in other
years (2012 and 2015). Drinking a glass of Goosepen always reminds Alex that
experimenting is a two edge sword; sometimes you get the goose, and sometimes the
goose gets you!

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