Méthode Ancestrale · Green Valley Solano County AVA · 40 cases produced
Based on snippets of experience of making sparkling in Germany, Sicily, and CA, spliced together with what I have read, guided me in this pét-nat meets méthode champenoise technique with CA Zinfandel fruit:
2014 whole cluster, direct to press Zinfandel juice fermented and aged sur lie in 2 neutral oak barrels for 12 months → 2015 fermenting rosé added to 2014 base wine as inoculum (8% of total blend), bottled → bottle fermentation/aging for 17 months → disgorged Jan 2017. Zero-zero.
This Zinfandel was planted in 1963 in foggy, cool-climate Green Valley Solano County AVA on decomposed igneous rock. Great acidity, mineral and savory, with a soft bead.
Zinfandel/Nero d’Avola blend · Mendocino County · 120 cases produced
Inspired by my work at COS and Broc, this is California’s wink at Cerasuolo: Venturi Vineyard Zinfandel (40%): Planted 1948. Farmed by 3rd generation Larry Venturi. Parcel on uplifted benchland. Fine, sandy loam. Whole cluster fermentation. Brings red fruit to the blend. Fox Hill Vineyard Nero d’Avola (60%): Planted 1975. Owner Lowell Stone pioneered many of the Italian varieties seen in CA today. Parcel on uplifted benchland. Sandy clay loam. Whole cluster fermentation. Brings structure and tannins to the blend. Both components were fermented whole cluster with daily foot treading. Month long maceration. 18 months élevage in neutral oak barrels.
Benson Ranch · Mendocino County · 72 cases produced
Nero d'Avola loves California. Originally from Sicily, this grape can maintain freshness and acidity even in hot climates. I lease this young-vine (10 year old) Nero d’Avola vineyard. Head trained and dry farmed (which is rare to see—head trained vineyards are not being planted in California, most that remain were planted just after WWII). Farmed with minimal intervention, we have cut sprays down to a few per year, and only use elemental sulfur dust. This wine drinks like a young vine wine, with lively acidity and exuberant, dark forest fruits aromatics. Dense flavors and aromatics, but light on the palate. 18 months élevage in neutral oak.
Venturi Vineyard · Mendocino County · 215 cases produced
This is one of those aroma-driven wines that you fall in love with when you smell, and then surprises you on the pallet (in a great way). Nose is rich: dried tart cherry, berry jam, wet stone. Palate is dry and delicate: orange peel, great acidity, and very minimal, dusty tannins. This is a light bodied, ageable Carignan.
From one of California’s historic head-trained, dry farmed vineyards: Planted 1948. Farmed by 3rd generation Larry Venturi. This is Larry’s most interesting parcel—covered in fist-sized stones, this piece of former Russian Riverbed contains quartz, shale, and sandstone. Fermented whole cluster with daily foot treading. Month long maceration. 18 months élevage in neutral oak barrels.
Non Vintage · Carignan/Zinfandel · 103 cases produced
This aged Rosé comes from two of California’s originals: Whole cluster pressed with minimal skin contact, this wine is far more about texture and tertiary characteristics than its typical fruity rosé sisterhood. Fermented and aged sur lie in neutral oak barrels, this is a rosé you’ll want to pair with your meal in addition to drinking as an aperitif. Mineral, saline, textured. 2014 Zinfandel (40%). Planted 1963. Foggy, cool-climate Green Valley Solano County AVA. Decomposed igneous rock. 2015 Carignan (60%). Planted 1948. Head-trained, dry-farmed. Mediterranean climate. Venturi Vineyard, Mendocino County AVA. Primarily sandstone.
This is a zippy, glou glou (french wine slang for gulpable) version of a traditional California red blend:
At only 11.3% alcohol this wine showcases all of the raspberry, hibiscus, and rhubarb zing that these two grapes can exhibit when picked on the fresher side. This is the perfect chillable red you’ll be grabbing for as the weather starts warming up.
Carignan (65%). Planted 1948. Head-trained, dry-farmed. Mediterranean climate. Venturi Vineyard, Mendocino County AVA. Sandstone/quartz. Whole cluster, foot stomped fermentation and aged in neutral oak for 6 months.
Zinfandel (35%). Planted in the 60’s, these head-trained, dry farmed vines are the youngest in the historic Del Barba vineyard in Contra Costa County. Grown in pure sand. Imagine walking on the beach—that’s what the soil is like in this vineyard. Destemmed and aged in stainless steel for 6 months to preserve freshness.
11.3% alc/vol· Free SO2: 12 ppm· Total SO2: 39 ppm