2013 Carte Blanche, California white wine
This is our third round with Lodi fruit, organically grown by Markus Bokisch in the north-eastern hills at edge of the Lodi AVA.
The Grape: Albarino 50%, Verdelho 50%.
The 2013 Vintage: A severe drought year in California and a very
early season. Early bud-break followed by an early bloom caused by a warm spring with a few heat spikes. Harvested on August 6th at an average 21.9 Brix. The grapes this year were homogeneously ripe and clean of any mildew or rot. Whole- cluster pressed and fermented in open-top plastic bins. Aged on the primary lees in neutral oak barrel until the bottling day (3/10/14). Bottled by gravity unfined/unfiltered.
Alcohol: 13.1%. Total sulfites added (at bottling): 20ppm. 2013 Yield: 3 tons per acre. Total Production: 1494 Bottles.
The wine: Medium bodied, compact and well concentrated, it has bright acidity and great aromatic purity. With time/air, it relaxes to show a creamy mid-palate and good length.
2009 Heart of Stone, Sierra Foothills Syrah
This is the last vintage produced of our signature Syrah cuvee, from the vineyards we farmed on the Renaissance property. In
2010 it was wiped out by spring frosts, and by 2011 we stopped leasing that vineyard.
The Grape: Syrah 90%, Viognier 10%.
The Heart of Stone terroir: The grapes for this cuvee came from two parcels on the Renaissance Vineyard: one east- facing at ~2300 ft and the other west-facing at about 2000 ft altitude. The east-facing one was steep and extremely rocky, producing richer wine with more elegant aromas. The west- facing was less rocky and had more bright red topsoil, and produced intense wines with rustic, powerful tannins. The Viognier came from a gentle, east-facing slope at about 1700 ft.
The 2009 Vintage: Spring and summer were warm but not exeedingly hot, with only a few 100+ degree days through the whole season. Bud-break began in early April, bloom in late May, and verasion in late July. Harvest was on September 1- 8, with sugars at ~23.6 Brix in average. The grapes were partly destemmed partly whole-cluster stomped into open-top wood fermenters, where un-inoculated fermentations took place on about 25% of the stems. Pressed after 21-24 days into 2 to 10 year old barrels. Aged on the primary lees until the bottling day (June 25, 2012). Bottled by gravity unfined/unfiltered, with sulfites level near zero. Alcohol: 13.8%. Total sulfites added (at crush): 35ppm. 2009 Yields: 1.2 ton per acre. Total Production: 1500 Bottles.
The wine: Medium-dark color. Medium-full body. Concentrated, earthy, and rich in fruit, the high percent of co- fermented Viognier gives it elegance and rounds it nicely, hiding the tannins behind a velvety texture. Like all of our Syrah-based wines, this has the potential to age for few decades in a good cellar.
2011 Stone Soup Syrah
The 2011 vintage is generally considered light, even poor, when it comes to California wines. We happen to consider it one of our
best. The long, cool, rainy season produced medium-bodied wines of bright acidities, great delicacy, and exceptional aromatic detail. This wine represents another small step in our pursuit of a truthful,
distinctive expression of our Sierra Mountain terroir: more than 50% of the fruit was foot-stomped and fermented on the stems. We believe that this added another layer of complexity to the wine and improved even further its aging potential.
The Stone Soup terroir: This 2-acre vineyard is perched on a steep, rocky, south facing slope, at 2000 ft altitude. The soil is bright red “decomposed granite”, very poor in organic matter. Own-rooted vines were densely planted in 2004, on what can be described as a huge pile of rocks. We farm it with zero chemicals and minimal irrigation, and get a yield of about 1 ton/acre at this time. Fertilization is provided by the grazing sheep, supplemented with additional organic compost.
The 2011 Vintage: Spring and summer were unusually cool, with only a few 95+ degree days through the whole season, and occasional rains. Bud-break began on April 1, bloom on June 1, and verasion in early August. Harvest begun on September 18, and continued in sequential passes through the vines until October 2nd, with sugars at ~21.8 Brix in average. The grapes were partly destemmed partly whole- cluster stomped into open-top fermenters, where un- inoculated, sulfite-free fermentations took place on 50% of the stems. Pressed after 8 day macerations into 3 to 8 year old barrels. Aged on the primary lees until the bottling day (10/07/13). Bottled by gravity unfined/unfiltered. Alcohol: <13%. Total sulfites added (at bottling): 20ppm. 2011 Yields: 0.9 ton per acre. Total Production: 1255 Bottles.
The wine: Medium-dark color. Medium bodied, with complex
aromas of flowers, spices, earth, and red-fruits, supported by lively acidity and a solid structure. Excellent balance, concentration, and density, all elegantly framed by its very graceful tannins. Like all of our Syrah-based wines, this will also age effortlessly for a few decades in a good cellar, but be sure to taste at least one bottle in its youth, to familiarize yourself with its expression and figure out at what age you may choose to drink it. This wine may indeed delight if consumed in the near future, yet should have so much more to give in terms of depth and complexity, if aged further.
2013 Out of the Blue,
Ancient Vine Cinsault
This is our fourth vintage of this wine, which has so rapidly become one of our most popular with our customers. This one, too, will enchant with its rustic intensity, irresistible aromatic charm, and ability to shine when paired with just about any food type you can think of.
The Grape: Cinsault 90%, Syrah 5%, Graciano 5%. The fruit for this wine is sourced from two growers in Lodi, California. The Bechthold Field has recently become well known as the single oldest existing Cinsault vineyard anywhere on Earth: planted in 1885, it is still owned by the same family. The Syrah and Graciano grapes were grown on the Eastern edge of the Lodi AVA by Markus Bokisch, considered
by many the finest grape grower in the whole region.
The 2013 Vintage: A severe drought year in California and a very early season. Early bud-break followed by an early bloom caused by a warm spring with a few heat spikes.
Clos Saron “La Cuvée Mystérieuse” 2009
95 Cases Produced
Our first Special Cuvee experiment: we found that the Syrah and Merlot grapes work wonderfully well together, making a wild, intense, tannic hulk of a wine, with an elegance to the mix that is tamed with its refined berry/herbal touches, and the Viognier brings it to life with its fresh acidity and enchanting flowery/spicy aromas.
64% Syrah, 30% Merlot, 6% Viognier.
Clos Saron “Black Pearl” 2008
97 Cases Produced
With a little more Syrah at its core than usual (65%), this wine has plenty of depth, structure, and density of texture. The co-fermented Cabernet (27%) adds richness and berry like intensity, while the Petit Verdot (6%) and Merlot (2%) contibute spice and extra complexity.
Clos Saron “Heart of Stone” Syrah 2008
110 Cases Produced
99% Syrah, 1% Viognier
Alongside its traditional black pepper and raspberry notes, this vintage shows a marked smoky, fruity character. Rich, meaty, exciting.