Deep ruby color; earth, cherry, musky rose, spice on the nose; black cherry, raspberry, plum, redcurrant, cranberry, minerality on the palate.
Dry; silky tannins with hit of brisk acidity on the mid-palate through a pleasing, extended finish. Good fruit intensity and complexity. Medium body. Smooth and generous in the mouth. This is richer and considerably darker in color than the previous vintage. I judged the 2015 to be lovely and elegant rather than big. This vintage also is lovely and elegant, but is bigger—without being the pinot caricature some bottom-shelf Cali pinots can become.
Adroitly restrained, correct use of oak—finished in French oak, 25% new and 75% neutral. Oak spice presents mid-palate along with baking spices. Built for food with 13% ABV and tasty rather than jammy fruit. I get a redcurrant bite mid-palate, which is intriguing and surprising. Redcurrant is not a typical pinot noir taste. Perhaps it is cranberry or black cherry, in any event it is a pleasant surprise.
Long Meadow Ranch is a collection of five properties: three in Napa Valley, one in Anderson Valley, and one in West Marin. The operation is owned by Ted, Laddie, and Christopher Hall. They employ an integrated, organic farming system, using simple, sustainable methods. Each part contributes to the health of the whole. Vineyards and wine making, olive orchards and olive oil making, cattle and horse breeding all work together in complementary fashion, as do the egg-laying poultry flock and the organic vegetable gardens. All crops are certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and are grown without use of herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers.
According to the website: “In the late 1800’s, the majestic Long Meadow Ranch property thrived with vineyards, apple orchards, olive groves, hay and a goat milk dairy until farming fell dormant during Prohibition. Over the following years, the property became swallowed by the encroaching forest until the Halls bought the property in 1989.
“The Hall family carefully breathed life back into the land, nurturing it back to its glory, and then some, by cutting back the abandoned olive trees and replanting the vineyards and apple orchards as you see them growing today. Home to the Mayacamas Estate, the rugged 650-acre landscape nestled in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains also gave way to a long, sweeping meadow, thus the name Long Meadow Ranch was born.”
Today, Long Meadow Ranch farms includes three counties with more than 2,000 acres of grapes, olives, fruits, vegetables, and pasture land. Their vision: “To be a family-owned producer and purveyor of world-class wine and food that is economically successful and socially responsible using diversified, sustainable, and organic farming methods.” Their motto: “Excellence through Responsible Farming.”
Long Meadow Ranch Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2016 is complex and elegant with great structure. Pleasing adventures as it plays out on your palate. It is significantly darker and slightly richer than the 2015 iteration. Both were beautiful pours; you expect quality with Long Meadow Ranch. Pair with duck breast and cherry mostarda; salmon— poached, sautéd, or baked; braised lamb shanks with tomatoes; roast turkey; zucchini and red onion frittata; avocado and papaya salad; squab with spiced plums; grilled quail with chanterelle mushrooms. $37-42