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2017 Belly of the Whale | Pinot Noir


SKU: RA17PNBWCT Category: Tag:

Do you dare to enter the Belly of the Whale?

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Located in the coolest area of the Carneros-Sonoma Coast AVA, this vineyard impresses with its history, the quality of the fruit produced, and its importance in California Pinot Noir production. Once part of the historic Buena Vista Vineyard, the Donum estate was developed and planted in 1989-1990. Anne Moller-Racke, viticulturist & vineyard manager, was the driving force behind the birth of this extraordinary 45-acre estate. Her passion for winegrowing and her deep knowledge of Pinot Noir were essential reasons why I initially approached her in 2012 to purchase fruit.


We source the Roederer clone from the oldest block. The fruit was harvested on October 10th. The fruit was 100 percent destemmed. After a ten day cold soaking, the fermentation began with daily punch downs performed throughout the maceration. The wine fermented on its skins for 24 days, followed by a complete malolactic fermentation. After 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels, we bottled the wine unfined and unfiltered.


Delicate and feminine, the nose is driven by wild raspberries with intermingling notes of sous-bois. This wine is full of nuance, with exquisite, delicate tannins and a long finish.

Production: 150 cases (6×750 mL)

Alc: 14.2%


The passage through the magical threshold of the transition into a sphere of rebirth is symbolized in the worldwide womb image of the belly of the whale. The hero, instead of conquering or accumulating the power of the threshold, is swallowed into the unknown, appearing to have died. 2017 marks a transition for Cattleya from vineyard names to a symbolic name that represents Bibiana’s journey.