Black Cloud Pinot Noir releases 2013 Altostratus.

Just 99 cases of 2013 Altostratus were produced, and added to the Pinot Noir exclusive line up from Bradley Cooper & Audralee Daum's Black Cloud Pinot Noir out of the Okanagan Valley.

You can request it at your favourite local shop, or order it online through the Black Cloud website. Winemaker Bradley Cooper tells the story below. Please direct trade or media inquires here. Trade buyers can find more details here.

Some vintages make you question why you persist at this thing. It is this dance between the fertile growth season and imminent decay. This strange junction of science and art where your best laid plans go easily awry and ruin beckons in the form of a misty film on the surface of the wine. Other vintages allow you to breathe deeply and slowly and exhalt the vine. -- Bradley Cooper, Winemaker

2013 was one of the latter. It begins a string of vintages that will be earmarked in Okanagan wine country. Something changed in the climate and it truly benefited Pinot Noir. 

Grapes in our area began ripening earlier and the vines were in better condition to do it.  Spring came earlier, summers began to moderate with more consistent higher average temperatures but fewer heat spikes. Instead of dodging the first of the fall storms off the Pacific in late October, growers and vintners had new challenges and different telltales to read in the waning days of summer.

On September 30 we decided to pick at the famous Remuda Vineyard in Okanagan Falls where we have been sourcing the Pinot for our Altostratus since 2008. The numbers on that date were:

23.2 Brix
3.58 pH
6.6 g/L Titratable Acidity

I believe our 2013 is the finest Altostratus Pinot Noir we've released. There's a completeness and general harmony in the wine two and a half years after production that we consider attainable after usually twice that in bottle aging.

When you extract the cork from a bottle there's an immediate rush of white pepper, smoke and cherry. The aroma lingers to reveal a suggestion of blackberry reduction in the background. The palate opens with an attack of cherry pie and cardamom followed by more cherry, raspberry notes and some assertive tannins. Balance between fruit and acid is sublime. In the finish look for Santa Rosa plum and a youthful tautness with a specter of cranberry.

Bold as its predecessors? Not quite. It's a perfect accompaniment to medium, tangy cheeses and pork cutlets. Completely enjoyable as a time-wasting sipper as well.