Valdiguié from Ricetti Vineyard in Redwood Valley; 70 year old vines; dry farmed (no irrigation); certified organic.
This lively pétillant wine tastes like tart cherry juice and pomegranate. Aromas of holiday baking spice, thyme and tarragon mingle with a whisper of tannin for a balanced fizz.
Collaborating is a way to take a stab at those complicated projects you’ve had on your mind, but just needed a parter in crime to actually bite them off. Joel Burt at Las Jaras is also a highly technical winemaker and the whole Las Jaras team is just fun to work with. After sharing a Carignan source in 2018, we were both excited to pick up a small amount of Valdiguié from Ricetti Vineyard. The 70-year-old vines don’t throw a large crop, so we decided to throw our hats in the ring together. Joel suggested sparkling, and I love a natural Lambrusco, so we quickly decided on a partial carbonic red pétillant. This was a golden opportunity to make something we would both enjoy making and drinking, and something that would challenge our skills. This second vintage, in 2019, was a way to sharpen the complicated techniques and timing we explored in 2018. 2019 is slightly more fruity than the 2018 as a result of these efforts (I love them both :-) It’s also nice to know that collaborators have your back: a huge shoutout to Joel and to my Assistant Winemaker, Tim, who brought this project to completion while I was giving birth!
Collaboration is all about timing. We suspect the extra compost the Ricetti's so lovingly spread each winter creates a grape berry packed with yeast nutrients come fall, which means the Valdiguié fermentation takes off particularly quickly. So once the fruit is in the winery, this wine gets a lot of attention. After harvesting we seal the tank for the first few days of fermentation to amplify some of the baking spice notes typical of carbonic maceration. Once we start tasting a hint of tannin in the fermentation, we press the juice off the skins and stems to continue fermenting. We then bottle the wine with just the right amount of residual sugar to create the fizz we want in bottle. In January 2021 we riddled and disgorged this wine to remove juice and yeast lees and showcase its fruitiness. For 2019 we went fancy with a cork and cage closure!
Label art: Alphachanneling