2017 Bacigalupi Pinot Noir "Unreleased"
This wine brings so much complexity on the nose. Dried rose petals, black currant along with many other dark fruit tones, allspice, white pepper, and dried cherries. Diving into the glass, you will find rich raspberry jam upfront. Blackberry, pomegranate, vanilla layered into the mid palate, and caramelized cherries on the finish. This is mid to full bodied wine that doesn’t lack in character. Recommended with salmon or chicken done on a mesquite grill.
Harvested at first light of dawn, grapes are hand-picked and delivered to the winery nice and cold. At the winery, the grapes were hand sorted, destemmed. The grapes were then fermented in small open top bins with hand punch downs conducted two to three times per day. After a four-day cold soak, the bins are allowed to warm up and start fermentation using native yeasts that come in on the grapes from the vineyard. Upon dryness, the grapes were pressed directly into a combination of 40% new French oak barrels for 18 months aging.
Record-breaking winter rainfall kicked off the season, filling the water table to capacity and replenishing soils. A mild spring brought bud break at the normal time, and vintners reported small berries with excellent color. A hot summer culminated in a Labor Day weekend heat wave that caused some vintners to move up their harvest dates by a week or so. The grapes endured the heat and once cooler weather arrived, fruit was able to mature at a gradual pace. Mid-September rain forced growers open up canopies, and in some instances, use blowers to dry out certain varieties prior to harvesting. Early estimates predicted an average yield, but some vintners reported weight loss in the grapes after the heat wave. Because most of the fruit was picked prior to the October fires, vintners have a positive outlook on the 2017 wines, comparing the vintage to 2003, 2013 and 2014. The fruit has excellent color, pronounced flavors and high quality across varieties.
In 1956 Charles and Helen Bacigalupi purchased 121 acres on Westside Road, a few miles south of the town of Healdsburg. In a simple beginning, Charles began to care for the 16 acres of existing vineyards. Envisioning the demand for premium wine grapes, Paul Heck (of Korbel winery) encouraged Charles to plant Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In 1964, Charles began his plantings with six acres of each varietal. Eventually he obtained Pinot Noir bud wood from Karl Wente, the first well documented plantings of Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley. He remembers Wente telling him the stock had come from France via the family’s old vineyard in Livermore. The family name (Bacigalupi) gained recognition during the 1976 Paris Tasting when the 1973 Napa Valley Chardonnay from Château Montelena (made with 40% of Bacigalupi fruit) triumphed over many acclaimed French wines. This event was the turning point in America’s global wine image. The vineyards now consist of 125 acres of premium grapes, which have been planted and managed for the past 30 years by John Bacigalupi and his family.
Bailarín Cellars was created in 2014 by a collective of family and friends, each following their respective passions. Together we focus on producing small lots of handcrafted wines from unique vineyard sources. We are proud to share the fruits of our labor and love with you.