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Current Release: 2016 Pinot Noir Napa Valley 

(See bottom of page for pdf of this or other library vintages)

Harvest date: Sept 5th and Sept 7th
Oak: 33% new; (60% French, 40% Tokaji/Hungarian)
PH at bottle: 3.54
Alcohol at bottle: 13.9%

Brix at harvest: 24.1 to 25.3
Time on Oak: 11 months
TA at bottle: 5.3 g/L
Total production: 805 cases

Vineyard : Three vineyards contributed to this wine. From the Nord Vineyard, at the southern mouth of the Napa River where the water spills into the San Pablo/San Francisco Bay, comes the prettiness of clone 115. Stanly Ranch, in Carneros just west across the Napa River from Nord, provides the structure of clone 114 and the robustness of clone 777. 

Vintage : This 2016 wine originated from vines that enjoyed the first significant rainfall after a four-year drought; it has structure and depth that reflect the health of those vines at harvest. There is a freshness to the nose and palate of the wine that I believe reflects the renewed vigor of the vines after the stress of the string of drought-influenced vintages. Batteries were recharged and the vines (and resulting wines) display remarkable youthfulness and energy.

Winecrafting : A three-day cold soak preceded 11 days in the fermenter. As the vines were les stressed than previous vintages, nutrient availability for the yeast was good, and the fermentation proceeded quickly and cleanly. Run to barrel before the finish of fermentation, the wine sat on its gross lees (without oxygen nor racking) for the entire year of aging, which adds a creamy texture and significant weight to an already substantial wine. A mixture of Tokaji (Hungarian) and Mercurey (French) oak contributes a nice blend of spice (particularly nutmeg) and vanilla to the profile.

Wine : This wine has always — from fermenter to barrel to bottle — been effusively aromatic: ripe red fruit with an accompanying hint of tea leaf and rose hips. It has also been both bright (it has ample acidity) and weighty (the mid-palate on this wine brings a depth of fruit that rivals the most unctuous wines I’ve ever crafted). Notes of vanilla and nutmeg, from barrel aging, round out the experience.

Road 31 Wine Co. produces tiny batches of one handcrafted Napa Valley Pinot Noir. The label pays homage to the gravel road outside my grandparents’ homestead back in Kansas—where I too was born—and the mighty green ’66 Ford Truck that drove it regularly. My grandfather, a farmer, willed the truck to me when he passed in ‘86, and the truck now seems right at home bouncing among the vines of Napa. The green truck and I oversee farming, harvest and hauling of the grapes to cave space borrowed from some friends up in Stag’s Leap district of Napa. My hands handle every step of the crafting: fermenting, barrel aging, bottling, and peddling. I am a one-man show (with a little help now and then from my wife, my cousins, and Daisy Dog).

Kent Fortner
Winecrafter/Truck Owner

Road 31 Wine Co. 2016 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2016 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2015 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2015 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2014 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2014 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2013 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2013 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2012 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2012 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2011 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2011 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2010 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2010 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2009 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2009 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2008 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2008 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2007 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2007 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2006 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2006 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2005 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2005 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2004 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2004 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2003 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2003 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2002 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2002 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Road 31 Wine Co. 2001 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2001 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

Release News

Current Release: 2016
Status: Sold Out

Direct Buying Window: Closesd; next release March 2019.

In the Spring, Road 31
Pinot Noir is first offered to the
“truckers” (mail list).

Accolades

"The 2015 Pinot Noir is slightly darker and richer than the 2014 and gives up plenty of currant and mulberry fruit, notes of spring flowers and forest floor, medium- bodied richness, terrific balance, and a structured, age- worthy style that should benefit from short-term cellaring. 92+ pts."--Jeb Dunnuck

"This [2014] silky, elegant, seamless Pinot Noir has no hard edges and stays light and graceful on the palate. 92 pts."--Jeb Dunnuck

"Each year, Fortner and his green 1966 Ford pickup have turned out a tiny batch—500 to 700 cases—of Pinot Noir that has garnered accolades and a mailing list of rabid fans, endearingly called 'truckers.' His one-man operation is the epitome of specialty small-batch winemaking."--Men's Journal, "Napa's New Breed."

"Toasty oak, good structure and balance; Complex, interesting flavors mark this Pinot -- it's great. 92 pts."–The Pinot Report.

"Road 31's 2011 Pinot Noir impresses for its delicate, understated personality. This is an absolutely goregous wine, especially in the context of a vintage that was full of challenges."--Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.

"This wine walks the walk (or should I say rides the road). The pretty ruby color draws you in. The sexy nose offers up dark cherries, roses, nutmeg, and toasty oak. Flavors of cherries, cinnamon and vanilla are luscious enough to nibble on. The wine finishes with a sexy candied cherry kiss that lingers. A beautifully balanced wine with sensual creaminess that only Pinot Noir can offer."--Pinotfile Newsletter, Dec 2006

"Delicious Pinots from Road 31 and proprietor Kent Fortner. The Road 31 Pinots are aged partly in Hungarian oak, which adds a distinctive layer of spiciness."--Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.
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Business Office
Phone: 707-649-1200

Email

Address (My home; correspondence only please)
1175 Azuar Dr.
Mare Island, CA 94592

The caves and winery in the Stag’s Leap district of Napa are open strictly—but happily—by appointment; just reach out via email.