Peay “Scallop Shelf” Pinot Noir 2016 [6/cs]

peay scallop shelf sonoma coast pinot noir
California Sonoma County
Pinot Noir
Type: Red Table Wine
Vintage: 2015

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.


“Scallop Shelf is lither than Ama and Pomarium, with tarter, redder fruit and more floral notes. The nose on the 2016 Scallop Shelf emphasizes rose petals and blood orange with cherry pipe tobacco, pine, clove and cinnamon notes reminiscent of matsutake mushrooms. The wine is light bodied and fresh on the palate but has an intense depth of flavour that persists on a long, clean finish. Scallop Shelf is often the most elegant and transportive of the wines we make. It is not always my favorite cuvée though often it has been. Like many of our wines, it will broaden and fatten with time in the bottle or in a decanter. I suggest waiting to taste for a year and then sampling a bottle to enjoy the youthful freshness. You can put the rest away for at least 5-10 or more years as it is built to age”