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Adelaida makes Pinot Noir exclusively from the HMR Estate Vineyard, our esteemed property since 1994. Encompasing 32 acres in a cooler mountain site of Westside Paso Robles, the vines were planted in 1964. This wine, known as the vineyard designated label represents a selection by the winemaker of the best barrels and by inference the best sites within the vineyard. These low yielding vines are rooted in the indigenous chalky calcareous shale soils and benefit from the distinctive diurnal temperature variation effected by the intrusion of afternoon Pacific coastal airflow. This vineyard, in a unique hillside swale, collects the cooler air, its growth is divigorated by the limestone soil and typically gives us compact pine cone shaped clusters of mineral tinged small sweet berries.
2008 was the third year of a drought cycle. Low rainfall challenged the vines. The period between a mid April budbreak and late August through mid September harvest was characterized by a moderate summer heat summation, accentuated by the vineyard microclimate. The vines yielded a mere one ton of grapes per acre, well formed clusters with a sugar-acid balance emulating a cooler climate character. Hand picked in the early morning the grapes underwent a short ambient soak followed by transfer to open top vats and fermentation with native yeast. Utilizing a 50% stem inclusion and some whole clusters the developing wine was manually punched down twice daily until dry and the free run transferred to barrique, a combination of light toast Allier French oak and neutral barrels. No movement occurred during one and a half years of ageing in barrel, a final defining technique of Winemaker Terry Culton.
Characterized by a silken texture the wine offers up salivating déjà vu aromatics of first pick summer cherries and Granny’s rhubarb cobbler. Underlying the immediate rush of primary fruit one encounters a second more thoughtful mélange of flavors hinting of brambly wild berries, the grip of fine Assam tea and sandalwood incense. Drinkable now, the wine should reach a plateau of maximum enjoyment in one year and hold through 2015.