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Current Release: 2017 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: 3.66
Alcohol at bottle: 13.9%

Brix at harvest: 24.6 to 25.3
Time on Oak: 11 months
TA at bottle: 5.3 g/L
Total production: 856 cases

Vineyard :  Three plots across two 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 northwest across the Napa River from Nord, provides the structure of clone 114 and the robustness of clone 777. 

Vintage : The 2017 year will certainly be noted for the dramatic fires that struck wine country late in the harvest season. Luckily, being a very-early harvesting varietal, all my wines were put to bed and resting safely in the caves by the time the fires surrounded Napa; my barrels were unaffected. The fires added an unfortunate and unearned marker on the vintage, as in truth, 2017 saw healthy vines that enjoyed two years of sufficient rainfall after the four years of drought during 2011-2015, and the resulting wines are robust and gorgeous.

Winecrafting : A three-day cold soak preceded 12-14 days in the fermenter. The healthy growing season meant that nutrient availability for the yeast was in balance, and the fermentations were clean and smooth. 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 : I believe this is one of the prettiest wines I’ve ever made. It exhibits the classic cola, floral, and red fruit aromas typical of this growing region. The underlying wine is equally pretty, but also exhibits a racier side; darker fruit flavors and a hint of earth are tied together with vanilla and a slight spice derived from the French and Tokaji/Hungarian oak barrels respectively. 

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. 2017 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Road 31 Wine Co. 2017 Pinot Noir Napa Valley

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: 2017
Status: Available

Direct Buying Window: Closed

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

Accolades

"Supple, seamless, sexy and pure style. Kirsch, black raspberries, spice box, dried flowers and incense notes all emerge from this fresh, balanced, silky [2017] wine that's ideal for drinking over the coming 5-6 years. 93 pts." --Jeb Dunnuck

"The 2016... is a forward, incredible charming effort that offers impressive amounts of kirsch and blackberry fruits to go with notes of spring flowers, moderate tannins, and a silky, elegant, weightless texture. I love its balance. 92 pts." --Jeb Dunnuck

"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.