The 2019 Seven Mules Pinot Noir’s nose opens up nicely over a few minutes in the glass, revealing cumin, turmeric, and tomato leaf. The soft and plush mouthfeel, with its undertones of coffee, is highlighted by ripe green pluot, black cherry, and sassafras.
Farmed by the Martinelli Family, and just a short jaunt from the Olivet Lane Vineyard on Woolsey Rd, the Seven Mules Vineyard resides on tranquil rolling hills. Sitting to the east of Olivet Lane, Seven Mules gets sun slightly earlier in the day and holds its heat just a little longer in the afternoon. With similar soil composure to Olivet Lane, rich deep expressions of red fruit are expected, but the 115 clones from this vineyard showed surprising maturity of flavors at low sugar levels.
Fruit for this wine was harvested in the cold fog of a Russian River September morning. After being hand-sorted, grapes were left in tank for five days to cold soak. During fermentation, three punchdowns per day were utilized to extract as much of the flavor and supple tannin as could be coaxed from the skins. Early on in the growing season, the fruit showed much darker fruits than that of Olivet Lane or our other single-vineyard wines, and as such was assigned a slightly more aggressive barrel program, seeing barrels with greater sweetness and tannin structure to balance the brilliant fruit flavors. Seven Mules was a great candidate for an extra couple of months of aging than Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, spending a total of 15 months in barrel.
Food Pairing Notes
Grilled lamb chops, mushroom, and rice pilaf.