Peay’s Scallop Shelf vineyard got its name when, while prepping the land for planting, viticulturist Nick Peay discovered ancient scallop and nautilus fossils in the soil strata: the vineyard’s ocean-floor past pre-dates the formation of the coastal Sonoma range where it’s located. This is a cool, breezy piece of land with a long growing season, sitting some 300 to 350 metres above sea level. You could call Peay Pinot specialists – they have a real knack for blending vineyard parcels and small lots. Their wines are not encumbered by overbearing sugar or overripe fruit and consistently retain refreshing acidity and engaging aromatic top-notes.
The single vineyard Scallop Shelf Estate Pinot Noir is a blend of six Pinot clones: Pommard, 777, 115, Swan, Mt. Eden, and 828. The wine was fermented in small, open-top fermenters, moved by gravity, aged for 11 months in new and neutral French oak barrels, and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
This Pinot Noir is poised and built to last. At release, it is intense, yet comfortably medium-bodied. Give this Pinot some time to let the structure and tannins unwind so that the beautiful dark cherry, plum, tobacco, and licorice notes can shine. It will fill in and gain cohesion as mature aromas develop, but retain that gravitas, a sort of refined power without weight.
“The 2015 Pinot Noir Estate Scallop Shelf is dense, powerful and also quite tannic. Readers will have to be patient with the 2015, as it is massively tannic and structured. Dark cherry, plum, tobacco and licorice give the wine its personality. This is a distinctly virile vintage for the Scallop Shelf. Time in bottle will help the Scallop Shelf come together, but I imagine it will always retain some of the gravitas it shows today. 2019 – 2029.”
94 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, March 2017