Russian River Valley, California
*In 1998, Barbara Barham Mendelsohn and Richard Mendelsohn planted 5 acres of Pinot Noir at Lala Panzi Ranch in the Russian River Valley near Healdsburg in Sonoma County. To achieve their goal to produce exemplary Pinot Noir using strict, organic methods, they engaged like-minded, top industry leaders viticulturalist Fred Peterson and winemaker Jim Clendenen. A joint venture between Jim Clendenen and the Mendelsohns created the Barham Mendelsohn label.
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from the certified organic Lala Panzi Estate. In 1998, Barbara Barham Mendelsohn and Richard Mendelsohn planted 5 acres of Pinot Noir on Lala Panzi Ranch in the Russian River Valley near Healdsburg in Sonoma County. The Mendelsohns engaged successful and experienced viticulturalist Fred Peterson to direct the planting of 6100 vines. He recommended 5 clones: the 114, 115, 667, and the 777 clones from the University of Dijon in Burgundy, and the traditional Pommard selection from UC Davis. The farming protocol at Lala Panzi includes: stringent canopy management, organic farming, manual tilling and weed control, micro-management of ripening assessment, and ultimately a quick, early morning harvest at the best possible balance.
A long and slow fermentation in 5 ton open-top fermenters extracts pretty but complex Pinot Noir flavors. Punch downs, once or twice a day, is another measure to ensure the best extraction of the Pinot Noir grapes. The wine is pressed to complete dryness and goes to barrel with moderate lees. This wine was aged for 20 months in François Frères French oak barrels, 33% new.