777 is the Dijon clone revered by Pinot makers for its deep color, and decidedly tropical, fruit-punch personality. We think this Pinot really is a prime example of 777. Our tasting notes, verbatim: “Exotic. Pomegranate and strawberry. Juicy, fleshy, low acid. So plummy and drinkable. Briary, brushy finish.” Try a bottle. What do you think? Did we get close?
For many years, the Neely family of Portola Valley sold their fruit to Varner, and in fact had a hand in making that brand famous for exquisite Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This wine, from one of the northernmost vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains and not far from the luminary Rhys Vineyards, is a nice way to explore a particular clone of Pinot Noir: 777, because it is made entirely of this clone. The clone was grafted on to existing Gewürztraminer vines in 2006, and what a great decision that was.