Easkoot wine

At first glance- it’s soft. At first smell- it’s even pretty. Fresh red-skinned berries, hints of spring anise, a young plum and Alpine fraise.

But don’t let that first impression fool you: while the approach on the palate is soft and lays out gently, re-iterating the promise in the bouquet of light berries, soon deeper layer after layer of dark skinned fruit and spice emerge, along with hints of cured tobacco and black licorice. Like the man it was named for, it is a story that goes on at length and writes deep lines of history that your palate will remember.

It is a tale with flavors that evoke sneaking into the Christmas tree lot after midnight just to smell the pine, or eating sticky blackberries straight from the bramble.

And in many ways, it is as its oak story goes: the branch that bends in service to the fruit, rather than that which breaks against your palate with a massive whack of wood.

Easkoot Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir 2010

All of the oak was French, but less than a third of the juice spent time in new barrels and the rest in neutral- the cooperage a mix of Sequin Moreau, Cadus, Francoise Frere, Damy, Remond and Ermitage.

The Pinot Noir varietal is defined by elegance. To make a wine from it that is not elegant seems counter intuitive.

Shane McManigle

The 2009 growing season in the North Coast was one of the coolest in over two decades, and the Petaluma Gap used its shrug of fog to full advantage. Ripening was slow going throughout the chill September, and just when we thought we were getting a handle on the timing for the harvest, early October brought an unexpected heat spike.

The older Corda vines easily weathered the sudden sun (they’ve seen it all before), and a final acceleration of ripening changed only our schedule. Harvest began on October 9th with the grapes clocking in at 23.4 brix. They were destemmed and tossed into an open top, stainless steel fermenting tank. The native yeasts were allowed to do their own work, kicking things into gear on October 14th and sailing the juice through fermentation. Three weeks later it all went into barrel and underwent natural malolactic.

Easkoot’s first release, the 2009 Marin County Pinot Noir, has been released and is now available for purchase.