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Current Release: 2015 Pinot Noir Napa Valley 

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

Harvest date: Aug 25th and 29th
Oak: 33% new; (60% French, 40% Tokaji/Hungarian)
PH at bottle: 3.55
Alcohol at bottle: 13.9%

Brix at harvest: 24.1 to 24.6
Time on Oak: 11 months
TA at bottle: 5.5 g/L
Total production: 785 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 : 2015 was the culmination of four years of bone-dry soils. Though vines are drought-tolerant, and we have come a long way with irrigation techniques, 2015 was the year when the stress reached a crescendo. Darwin and Mother Nature are stunning dance partners. A vine’s core purpose is to nurture its offspring (grapes/seeds). Stress the vines to the limit with four years of drought, and they focus all their energy into very few grapes, yielding incredible intensity. 

Winecrafting : A three-day cold soak preceded 14 long days in the fermenter. As the vines were stressed, nutrient availability for the yeast was low, and the fermentation proceeded slowly, coaxing out extra intensity, color, and flavor to the final wine. 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 intense wine. A mixture of Tokaji (Hungarian) and Mercurey (French) oak contributes a nice blend of spice and vanilla to the profile.

Wine : 2015 is lush, bold, and yet — somehow — still pretty. It is a Bond girl (in a little black dress). It’s Elvis (in his early years). It is a Ferrari Testarossa (red, of course). It is still Pinot Noir, and it is still Road 31, but the dial is on 11, even while it arrives for dinner with less than 14% alcohol. I find the whole vintage, and this wine, remarkable 

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. 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: 2015
Status: Available

Direct Buying Window: Open through April 10.

Upon release in late Spring, Road 31
Pinot Noir is first offered to the
“truckers” (mail list).

Accolades

"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.