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Published: 2009/10/29

Les Claypool’s Purple Pachyderm Pinot Party

On Friday November 20, Les Claypool will celebrate the 2007 Purple Pachyderm, the first vintage for Claypool Cellars, with a performance at the HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol, CA. The Purple Pachyderm Pinot Party will feature music from Les Claypool and Friends. Also on hand with be the “Pachy-Mobile,” presumably offering tastings and swag. Claypool Cellars, which produces “Fancy Booze for Semi-Fancy Folks,” has been in existence for a few years and this is the first vintage.

The wine, which is also available for purchase online at the Claypool Cellars site, which describes the wine as follows:

The grapes were sourced from the Hurst Vineyard in the Russian River Valley AVA. Early morning fog, warm days, afternoon sea breeze and cool nights are the ingredients delivered in the western part of the Russian River appellation. This vineyard is planted to the Pommard, 777 and 115 clones of Pinot Noir and located west of Sebastopol, where two sloping edges of a small valley in the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed offer good exposure for Pinot Noir. Throughout modern wine history, consistently great wines have come from a little sliver of hillside in Burgundy known as the Côte d’Or. We are pretty happy with our little “Golden Hillside.”

This wine has a dark ruby red color. The aromatics are of supple black cherry, ripe red berry, and ginger spice along with hints of spearmint and almond. The aromas lead into similar fruit flavors followed by a medium bodied mouthfeel and chalky oak tannins. Crisp, balanced acidity and a lingering silky finish support the wine.

2007 vintage was a great year to make Les Claypool’s first batch. A mild weather pattern stabilized until it was perfect for picking. This gave the grapes time to mature to a perfect balance of acidity, tannins and sugar. The wine was made at Vinify Wine Services in Santa Rosa’s “wine ghetto” industrial park. The use of 40% new French oak barrels and some whole clusters during fermentation helped enhance the characteristics of the wine.

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