94pts | Wine Spectator "Graceful in its complexity and elegantly expressive, offering lithe raspberry and cherry flavors that are laced with a hint of crushed stone and black tea that build tension toward medium-grained tannins. Drink now through 2029." - Tim Fish
93pts | Wine Enthusiast
93pts | International Wine Report
This looks to become a classic release of The Plow, with the deepest and longest flavors yet, ensuring longevity. As in 2017, it was composed of the finest lots of wine from the top of the vineyard where Larry Stone planted a refined, moderately productive Pinot Noir on the Gelderman-Jory soils that are the most expressive and nuanced of our vineyard site. The result is a powerful wine with luscious texture and length, a wine of contemplation and nuance. The long flavors are a complex of black cherry, dried herbs, black plum, red currant, black tea, rose petal, violets and minerals with a beautiful, long finish.
The fruit for the 2018 The Plow comes from the best parts of Blocks 1 and 2, PN777 on Gelderman-Jory Complex, a type of shallow volcanic soil about 2-5 feet deep with a layer of large gravels that impart extra energy to the vines and create more complex and intense flavors. In 2018 this translated into a richly layered wine, dense wine, even though the fermentations were handled gently.
In this dense vintage the whole cluster fruit was kept to 20%. Fermentation took place with wild yeast in a combination of stainless steel and concrete tanks. The destemmed fruit is selected for whole berries by a special destemmer/sorter. No broken fruit goes into the cuvée. Cap management begins with gentle pump-overs, followed by traditional pigeage by foot, as needed. After fermentation, the wines age in 24% new and 76% 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, it pairs beautifully with peking duck, shaking beef, mushroom rich dishes such as vegetables with shitake mushrooms and oyster sauce, or porcini risotto.