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Kramer Vineyards

2015 Pinot Noir 50% Whole Cluster

2015 Pinot Noir 50% Whole Cluster

This Pinot Noir was made with 50% whole clusters in the fermentation. Whole cluster fermentation refers to the practice of fermenting entire bunches of grapes, stems and all. Typically, our grapes go through a destemmer, a machine that knocks the berries off the stems, removing the stems from the fermentation entirely. In the process many of the berries split and begin to release juice immediately. With whole cluster, the fruit stays intact longer, releasing the sugar available to the yeast more slowly, and the presence of the stem has an impact on aroma, flavor, and structure of the wine. Some of the advantages of whole cluster fermentation are:

"It's amazing how much the whole cluster fermentation changes the perception of spices and palate weight. It's a game-changer!"
--Kim Kramer, Winemaker

  • Promotes Carbonic Maceration, producing berry fruit and bubblegum flavors
  • Stems impart spiciness, cinnamon, cedar, black tea
  • Improves texture, softening tannins
  • Wines have more power and structure
  • Increases complexity
  • Improves aging potential

For more on whole cluster fermentation, see PinotFile v11 i25: Sizable Tasting of 100% Whole Cluster California & Oregon Pinot Noir

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Wine Specs
Pinot Noir
Harvest Date
September 2014
21.4 Brix
6.8 g/L
neutral French oak
Bottling Date
February 2016
Alcohol %
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
Aromas of licorice, clove, red cherries, and cola. Nice sweet fruit on the palate, with slightly grippy tannins in the middle. Very long finish.
Vineyard Notes
Own-rooted estate vines planted 1985-1988, Wädenswil, Pommard, and Gamay Beaujolais upright clones.
Winemaker Notes
The grapes were harvested, sorted, and 50% whole clusters were layered into the bottom of the vat, topping with 50% destemmed fruit. Cold soaks lasted 4-7 days. When fermentation began, the vats were punched down and pumped over, twice daily and pressed at dryness. The wine settled overnight before racking to neutral French oak barrels, and aged until bottling the winter of 2016.

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