Sunday, August 14, 2016

Balletto Vineyards An Evening Sipping Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

*Samples Received

Imagine graduating high school, giving up playing sports to help support your family due to the death of a parent. What John Balletto accomplished from a small 5acre plot growing vegetables with his mother to a highly successful winery today is truly inspirational. Today, they have over 600 acres in the Russian River Valley harvesting 10% for their own wines and selling the remaining 90%. The grapes they do harvest are the top 10% and allow them to produce consistent and quality wines. The Balletto Family Vineyards  philosophy "Our goal is that you enjoy drinking our wines as much as we enjoy making them."

Up first the 2013 Balletto Chardonnay Cider Ridge Vineyard. The clones picked were a combination of Wente and Robert Young, whole cluster pressed and barrel fermented with no commercial yeast. The wine was then aged in the barrel 18 months to soften the acidity. The vineyard is located 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean with the vines on the west facing slopes. the conditions are perfect for growing Chardonnay. The aromas on this wine are exceptional with a blast of cream and tangerine followed by pear, wild flowers with a kiss of honey/ginger. The mouth is lively and refreshing with green apple, honeydew melon and grated ginger. Lovely layers of flavor and so soft on the finish with a nice touch of acidity. Nicely done!

Second wine was the 2014 Balletto Pinto Noir BCD Vineyard. The grapes for this wine were specifically harvested to showcase the unique qualities of the estate vineyard while maintaining the natural acidity and keeping alcohol levels low. Fermented with indigenous yeast in open top tanks, the wine was then aged in French Oak Barrels with small amounts of new oak used to enhance the wine. The end result is a wine with "depth, structure and finesse".  The vineyard is located on rolling hills leading up to the Coastal mountain range. Cold fog flowing from the Pacific Ocean blankets the vineyard providing an ideal climate. The aromas are wonderful and music to my nose. Cherry, earthiness with orange peel, violets and a healthy spice. The mouth is juicy and classic RRV Pinot with bright cherry, wild raspberry, cloves and earthy tones. Serious great pinot!

Headed to Santa Rosa then a stop by the Balletto Vineyards Tasting Room is in order. Located at 5700 Occidental Road and open 10am to 5pm daily. Swing by for your tasting of their award winning lineup.


No comments: