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2005 Dubakella Trinity County Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $30. Sometimes good Pinot Noir turns up in the most unexpected places. Andy Carini produces Dubakella Pinot Noir from a vineyard in Hayfork, California, about half way between the cities of Redding and Eureka, in Trinity County. Directly east of Humboldt County, Hayfork sits about midway between the best northern coastal Pinot Noir regions of California and the better Pinot Noir regions of Oregon. The wine is named for Mt.Dubakella, the tallest mountain you can see from Andy’s winery in Hayfork. It is a Wintu (local Native American tribe) word for “black rock.” Andy began working with this vineyard just before harvest in 2004. The location is uncharted grape growing territory, but seems to be a natural fit for Pinot Noir. The vineyard sits at 2,700 ft on a south facing slope overlooking the Hayfork Valley (the valley floor is at 2,200 ft). The soils are rocky loam with veins of limestone throughout. The climate is very Burgundian with a short, but intense, growing season with only two months of the year sure to be frost free (July and August). Summer day to night temperature swings of 50 degrees are the norm! Hot days and almost cold nights. The vineyard was planted to clones 115 and Pommard on 7 acres (there is 2 acres of Pinot Gris) in 1998 and is certified organic. Andy says, “On paper everything works and sounds nearly perfect. I am just about to the point where I feel I can state with certainty that in practice it is even better than on paper. As my years working with this vineyard pass, and we fine tune our farming to the site, the wines are proving that this is a place for great Pinot Noir, perhaps one of the very best places in the state for it.” Andy’s winemaking style emphasizes as little manipulation as possible. The only additions to the wine are yeast and minimal sulfur dioxide. There is no watering down, acidification, spinning cone, copper, color boosters, fining, or filtration. The wine is a true representation of its place of origin and the vintage. 90% of the grapes are de-stemmed followed by a cold maceration. After inoculation, the fermentations last between 10-14 days in small 200 gallon open top fermenters. Multiple daily punchdowns are followed by pressing directly to 100% French oak. Typically, aging is for 18 months and the wine is bottled directly off its gross lees. Order winery direct at www.cariniwinecellars.com. · A cherry bombast on the nose and an appealing loamy earthiness to the ornate black cherry and black raspberry flavors. Lithe and clean with a refined mouthfeel and a refreshing finish. An impressive wine well crafted and flashing great charm. The price is ridiculously low considering the effort taken in farming this isolated vineyard and crafting this unique wine. Reviewed October 1, 2008

Winery: Dubakella
From article: Small Sips of California Pinot Noir: Just Drink It