The Putnam family farms this magical 32-acre vineyard nestled in a grove of redwoods on the extreme Sonoma Coast—just six miles from the Pacific Ocean in the tiny town of Annapolis, CA. The site’s coastal proximity and Goldridge sandy loam soils result in wines with tremendous richness matched with high-toned finesse.
With a cool climate and high annual rainfall, the growing season at Putnam Vineyard is long and grapes mature more slowly than in warmer areas farther inland. The vineyard is perched just above the fog line and among giant redwood trees native to the area. When the vineyard was first developed in 1977, Cliff and Puanani Putnam were adamant about protecting the redwoods to preserve the natural beauty of the landscape, an early sign of their commitment to sustainability and the natural environment.
The Putnam family believes that the unique microclimate surrounding the vineyard provides the optimum conditions for Pinot Noir, and that their role is simply to allow those conditions to flourish. Neglecting the vines of irrigation almost entirely, interacting with the vines minimally throughout the growing season, and pruning early to provide an open vine canopy are all small details working in lockstep to ensure the grapes benefit from the natural environment of the Sonoma Coast.
The Putnams are highly selective when it comes to partnerships with the winemakers, and James MacPhail is just one of three winemakers allowed access to this celebrated and truly unique vineyard. The Patriarch Pinot Noir is specially sourced from the “Lofty Vineyard” on the Putnam property – a secluded parcel nestled in the heart of the redwood forest, only accessible by 4-wheel-drive vehicle.
The aromas are rich and concentrated with dark blue fruit and plum layered over dark chocolate and peppery oak. The palate is powerful and intense with layers of blackberry, roasted coffee and hints of bacon.
Hailing from the far west Sonoma Coast. Black plum, dark cherry, and Earl Grey tea on the nose, with a palate of dark red fruit, pomegranate, citrus peel, and robust but smooth tannins.
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