Maddie’s Vineyard is located along Westside Road, just south of the town of Healdsburg, in the area of the Russian River Valley referred to as the Middle Reach.
Sited on the benchland on the western edge of the river, the soils of Maddie’s Vineyard are a mixture of river gravel, sand, silt, and fossil alluvium. They overlay the coastal belt of the Franciscan rocks, remnants of the oceanic plates that fractured while colliding with the western edge of North America. Rich in various minerals, the soils are naturally well drained and the roots of the vines run deep.
At just 3.5 acres, Maddie’s Vineyard is quite small by California standards, and only .75 acres is planted to Chardonnay. Aggressive pruning, green harvesting, cluster selection, and multiple passes through the vineyard further limit crop yields. Despite its tiny size, the vineyard is harvested in three separate picks to ensure optimum ripeness for each and every cluster.
2006 was a challenging year weather-wise, and a great deal of time was spent in the vineyard working and watching the crop. A cool, wet spring delayed bud break, flowering and fruit set.
In June, it looked like the harvest would be three to four weeks later than average—later even than 2005—which was considered a late year. Cool weather continued into July, which turned
out to be a good thing when temperatures rose above 100 degrees for a few days. Often heat spikes will result in elevated sugar levels, and it can be a struggle to obtain the “hang time” necessary for full flavors. The cool weather created the opposite effect, with flavors developing ahead of sugars. Warm weather in August and September allowed for full ripening with excellent retention of acidity and minerality.
Pinot Noir from the 2006 vintage is showing expressive personality with pronounced minerality, concentrated flavors and fine grained tannins as a result of naturally low crop levels and the cool growing season.
NOSE:Ripe cherry and raspberry underscored by notes of chocolate, coconut and earthiness.
PALATE: Well structured with dense flavors of Bing cherry, boysenberry, pomegranate and blackberry enhanced by an exotic, gamy edge. The finish is smooth and balanced with dark plum, refined tannins and minerality surrounding focused acidity.