Adrian’s quest to discover his true potential as a winemaker
led him to Bootlegger's Hill Vineyard; the site of Russian River Valley’s
most revered Pinot Noir by classic, old-guard producers.
Pappy Jewell was an entrepreneur of a different shade. As many folks were hard pressed, to say the least, during the Great Depression and prohibition, Pappy saw opportunity. You could say making libations has been in the Jewell family for centuries now as Pappy was a bootlegger in Topeka, Kansas, providing the highest quality of spirit to the town.
Bootlegger’s Hill Vineyard shares a similar history, as the name suggests. Once a moonshine operation in the hills of the Russian River Valley, it was planted to clonal selections of Pinot Noir in 2009 by Charlie Chenoweth. Now a different kind of spirit rises from those hills.
2021 Tasting Notes
The 2021 Bootlegger’s Hill aroma is dominated by the presence of ripe raspberries, offering an indulgent scent. Accompanying this is the familiar note of red licorice, contributing a touch of nostalgic appeal. A subtle hint of watermelon adds a refreshing aspect to the fragrance, while delicate Asian spices introduce an exotic element.
On the palate, the red fruit flavors shine through, in line with the promise of the aromas, and the gentle essence of red licorice continues to influence the taste. The mid-palate boasts a medium-plus body, giving the wine a satisfying weight. This smooth transition leads to a velvety mouthfeel with complex layers of flavors and textures, inviting you to savor its intricate character.
2021 Vintage Notes
On the heels of 2020, which was a rollercoaster of difficult decisions due to COVID and late-season fires, it wasn’t hard to have a vintage that seemed great. In hindsight, however, 2021 was the vintage of a lifetime. We had a dry and cold winter that was followed by a warm spring which led to a balanced fruit set. The lack of rain created smaller yields and more concentrated fruit. We had a very cool August and September, allowing the vines to fully develop phenolic ripeness without compromising the acidity or aromatics in the wines. With time, the 2021 Vintage will prove to be one of the best vintages in California history for Pinot Noir.
Planted by Charlie Chenoweth and his team in 2010. This vineyard is the fruit source for some of the most famous Russian River Valley producers like Kosta Browne and Patz & Hall. I was lucky to wiggle my way into this amazing vineyard just outside of the town of Occidental. The site once produced moonshine during prohibition, hence its name. For the Jewell project, I source from two different blocks which are planted to the Mt. Eden and the Calera Clone. The Mt. Eden clone contributes structure and the dark tones and spices, while the Calera brings out the beauty in the wine: fragrant cherry blossoms and stony minerality.