Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Wine of the Week: Whitcraft Winery Pinot Noir Pence Ranch - Pommard Clone

This week's featured wine needs no introduction. Drake Whitcraft has been impressing oenophiles with his biodynamic, minimalist, Santa Barabra wines for over a decade. This week, his Pence Ranch Pommard Clone Pinot Noir is highlighted. Many of Drake's wines are clonal selections, meaning they are a propagation from a single parent plant over many years. While there are around 1,000 different clones of Pinot Noir, the Pommard clone has a significant growing history within California, and along with being used in costal vinyards, it is known for having a meaty and gamey edge with very pure dark fruits. The Whitcraft Pence Ranch Pommard Clone Pinot Noir is very light in the glass and shows aromas of piquant raspberry, sagebrush and candied red fruit. The palate is zesty yet full, with more raspberry and lifting tarragon flavors, proving rather refreshing. This is a truly spectacular Pinot.

When Drake Whitcraft took over the family winery in 2007 (the winery was founded two decades before, in 1985 by his parents, Chris and Kathleen) hisgoal was to make balanced Central Coast wine of purity, honesty, and finesse.Because he grew up within the culture of wine and California winemaking, he was perpetually under the tutelage of both his father and friend Burt Williams, founder of the legendary Williams-Selyem winery in Sonoma. During a two year stint in Australia working at Green Vineyards with first-generation Italo-Australian and biodynamic guru Sergio Carlei, he got a good taste of certain practices he wanted to implement, not only in the vineyardand winery but also on the business side. Now Drake is vinifying with thesame old school techniques his dad used (hand-harvesting, foot-pressing etc, no added enzymes or coloration) and with much veneration to MotherNature herself.


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