The fruit for The Plow 2021 comes from the three upper blocks with a special massal selection of PN777 on Gelderman-Jory soils, with a layer of large gravels that impart extra energy to the vines and create more complex flavors. Wines grown here are the most balanced and intriguing of our estate.
The Plow features floral notes, minerality, freshness, round tannins, and length. In 2021 this translated into a terroir-driven layered wine, with aromatic complexity. Because the wines were more structured this year, around 7% of the cuvée came from PN115 which smoothed out the tannins. The color is medium intense, ruby with an aroma of cedar, rose, morel and porcini mushroom, black currant, vanilla, and graphite. The palate reveals both black and red cherry, cinnamon, vanilla, black tea and plums. The finish is long and round with a touch of velvety tannin.
Winter was extremely cold, with an historic ice-storm that left the region without power for over two weeks. It remained cool and wet throughout early spring but warmed up, in time to have a major heat dome event at the end of June with a record-breaking 116 F temperature scorching trees and killing vegetation all over the region. The resiliency of the non-irrigated soils in our vineyards, having fractured basalt as an insulating influence as well as the source of stored rainwater, meant that our vines almost had no negative effect and were verdant all the way through and after the experience. The heat event had the positive effect on our vineyard that helped to reduce the mildew pressure we normally experience after a wet spring.
The fruit is hand-picked and sorted in the vineyard, then sorted again on the crush pad. Only whole berries are selected for the fermenters. In 2021 the whole cluster fruit was 25% of the cuvée. Fermentation proceeded with wild yeast in concrete and stainless steel tanks. Cap management begins with gentle pump overs, followed by traditional pigeage by foot, as needed. After fermentation, the wines aged in 25% new and 75% neutral French oak barriques for 12 months followed by an additional 5 months in stainless steel tank to bring the cuvée together prior to bottling.
Food Pairing Notes
This Plow is a wonderful partner with Rib-Eye, New York and Sirloin steaks, with Lamb Shoulder, Leg of Lamb, Lamb Loin, Roasted Duck, Grilled Duck Breast, savory preparations of Goose and Duck Liver, Porchetta, Sautéed or Grilled Pork Loin, wood-grilled meats and Franklin, Pecan Lodge or Smitty’s BBQ Brisket or Ribs (if you happen to be in Texas). Also with Peking Duck, Shaking Beef, mushroom rich broths and vegetable dishes.