With caves tunneling deep into a vine-covered ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains and vineyards so steep they have to be farmed with a one-of-a-kind, specially designed tractor moved by cables, Clos de la Tech is one of the most ambitious and innovative Pinot Noir producers in California. The winery was founded in 1994 and continues to be operated by TJ Rodgers, CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, and his wife, Valeta. Some of the highlights at Clos de la Tech include extreme growing conditions, high-altitude terrain, vine-by-vine farming, high-density planting (4,150 vines per acre), low yields, innovative equipment, gravity-flow winery, whole cluster fermentations with native yeast, and no filtration.
Clos de la Tech's five Pinot Noirs come from three estate vineyards: Domaine du Docteur Rodgers, Domaine Valeta and Domaine Lois Louise. Domaine Lois Louise is an extraordinarily steep, 163-acre property (35 planted) in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. It sits above the fog line and is buffeted by strong maritime winds. The "Twisty Ridge" block runs along the upper ridgeline at 1,700 feet. The site features a thin layer of topsoil over fractured rock and is planted to Dijon clones.
The fruit for the 2012 was hand harvested between September 22 and October 17. After an extended cold soak the grapes underwent traditional vinification methods including foot crushing, whole cluster fermentation with native yeast, malolactic fermentation on lees and gravity transfer (no pumping). The wine was aged in Francois Frères barrels (Bertrange Forest) for 12 months and bottled unfiltered.
2012 was the first vintage produced entirely at our new, underground winery. Having complete control over every step of the winemaking process allowed us to micro-manage the harvesting, sorting and vinification of our fruit. Couple that with another year of vine maturity and we were able to produce some of our finest wines ever. Consistently our most powerful Pinot, the 2012 Twisty Ridge delivers bushels of cherries, blackberries, plums, clove, anise, espresso and vanilla. The palate is dense, thick and expansive. The substantial, but well-integrated tannins suggest a long and happy life.
|Composition||100% Pinot Noir|
|Vineyard||Domaine Lois Louise "Twisty Ridge" Block|
|Barrel Aging||12 months in Francois Frères French oak barrels (75% new)|