The 2017 Flanagan Pinot Noir Platt Vineyard is a compelling expression of what is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest vineyard sites in California. The wine has a brilliant color and the fruit character, despite the very cool site, is explosive. The nose offers a rich bouquet of ripe cranberry, cola, and a hint of spice. The palate shows very clean dark red fruit with a silky, persistent finish.
Incredible acidity, a beautiful mouthfeel, and an incredible purity of fruit character make this a reference point wine.
In 2017 crop set was generally better than in 2015 and 2016. A severe heat spike in late August resulted in some damage to grapes, especially thinner skinned varieties like Pinot Noir. As a result, some thinning of damaged fruit was required and yields once again were below average. People always believe that a heat spike results in grapes that are riper. In fact, a heat spike like the one we experienced in 2017 shuts down the vines completely. Brix levels initially spiked due to desiccation but once things cooled down and the vines had a chance to recover, Brix levels dropped back to where they were prior to the heatwave. In many vineyards we ended up harvesting at lower Brix levels than in 2016. Fortunately, all of our sites are in cooler areas of the Sonoma Coast and suffered minimal damage.
Platt sits 2.5-miles from the Coast and the vineyard cascades down a south facing ridgeline. The Goldridge Fine Sandy Loam soils are the most sought after for Pinot Noir and afford excellent drainage. The wind blows reliably out of the west and provides good airflow which helps keep the grapes clean. The vineyard elevation ranges from 425-850 feet above sea level and is frequently (but not always) above the fog that fills the valley most every morning.
In 2017 we used 20% whole clusters in the Platt Pinot ferments, which, like most of our Pinot ferments, were relatively short at 10 days. The wine was aged in Atelier Centre France, Francois Freres, and Boutes barrels for 14-months with just over 40% new barrels.