Wines and Winemaking
Our goal is to to produce wines that are steeped in traditional approaches, give pleasure and have flavor.
Fermentations for Pinot Noir employ only wild yeasts and are done in 4 ton concrete open-top fermenters. Stem inclusion is done in varying percentages each year depending on the health of fruit. After primary fermentation is complete, there is no settling of free run juice, which is barreled directly from the fermenter. All wines are aged in neutral to 30% new French oak barrels. Wines are racked the following summer. There are no further wine movements until assemblage prior to bottling and occurring after 9 to15 months in barrel.
Our Chardonnays are wild yeast fermented in neutral to 30% new French oak barrels ranging in size from 59 to 400 gallons. There is no movement of the lees and the wines go through complete malo-lactic fermentation with wines remaining in barrel for 9 to 15 months. Prior to bottling the wines are then moved to stainless steel tanks to settle. We do these steps to insure that the wines remain fresh and vibrant showcasing our region's energizing acidity and citrus flavors.
Syrah fermentation is also done in 4 ton concrete open-top fermenters and aged for two years in 581 gallon (15HL) foudres, wooden vessles that are custom produced for us by Ermitage in France.This old school method of extended aging is consistent with the time honored pratcies of the Northern Rhone, where wines have demonstrated the value of patience and the benefits that come from mellowing in large cask.
This is our third release of our estate grown Passe-Tout-Grains that is 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Gamay. The AOC Passe-Tout-Grains in Burgundy, France, was created in 1937 covering all of Burgundy and is traditionally a blended wine of Gamay and Pinot Noir and sometimes Chardonnay and other white varietals. Historically, Gamay was often inter-planted into Pinot Noir vineyards in France as a hedge against preventing low yields. Gamay carries a larger cluster and so the size was often quietly advantageous in low-yielding vintages.
In 2014, we grafted 3 acres of Pinot Noir with vine cuttings from some of the oldest Gamay vineyards in the US via a vineyard in Oregon. The grapes were fermented carbonically in concrete and then aged in neutral puncheon. We are thrilled with the results and decided to produce a wine reminiscent of this classic yet little known, and rarely seen, wine from Burgundy. It has depth and complexity from Pinot Noir and all the freshness and fruit aromas from Gamay. 295 cases. 13.5% alcohol.
The FUGIO Pinot Noir is from a four-acre block of cane-pruned Pommard situated on steep, west-facing slopes, with dense clay and limestone soils. It is the perfect Yin-Yang to the UNUM, its rounder and more approachable Pinot Noir sibling. FUGIO is often more brooding, more foxey (not sexy but gamey), less overtly fruity and needs time to unveil itself, while the UNUM celebrates its exuberance, and is more generous and accessible now. Because of the FUGIO section’s steep curvature, we only select fruit from the top half of the block because the drainage and wind-pressure are greatest here. By farming this precisely, we achieve more concentrated fruit than the lower half, and ultimately results in a wine with a more significant, richer expression. This wine should age easily for 5-10 years. 16 months in 30% new French oak. 100% whole-cluster fermented in concrete. 240 cases. 13.5% alcohol.
This is our third chardonnay made from our vineyards and is a field blend of six different clonal selections. The vines are north-facing, so they receive less sunlight, and are grown on a mixture of various ocean sedimentary soils including limestone, diatomaceous and calcareous elements. Chardonnay from our region provides some of the finest examples of this varietal in California because our climate is like ‘refrigerated-sunlight’. This results from the bright sunshine we enjoy throughout the growing season, competing against the cold winds coming from the Pacific Ocean. It is this dichotomy that creates beautiful Chardonnay that has both freshness and flavor akin to something more decadent like a mix of Meyer Lemon, Yuzu and Crème Brûlée. During vinification, we approach the wine within Sashi Moorman’s aesthetic of conservative yet strategic use of new French oak and no lees-stirring, producing magical white wines that are profound, thought-provoking, ageworthy (5+ years), minerally and foodfriendly. Barrel fermented and aged in 25% new French oak puncheons for 16 months. Full ML and no battonage. 423 cases. 13% alcohol. Bright white-gold color gushing with aromas of sweet lemon, stone, lemongrass, citrus blossom and saline. Vibrant, energetic, full and mouth-watering on the palate.
This is our third bottling of ROSA and reflects how truly enjoyable Chardonnay can be considering that one of the most expensive wines in the world is from this grape. Planted on a north-facing exposure (less sunlight), from a small 2.8 acre block within our vineyard, which blends three different types of ocean based soils (Calcareous, Diatomaceous and Limestone) with our typical heavier clay, this fruit always yields an exotic and highly aromatic wine. Because of the fruit’s striking intensity, Sashi feels this wine can benefit from more time in more new oak, which only increases the wine’s fullness, richness and longevity (7+ years). Barrel fermented in 100% new French 581 gallon Foudre (10 times the size of a normal barrel) with 16 months elevage. Full ML and no battonage. 372 cases. 13.5% alcohol. Yellow-gold color with aromas of exotic lime, yellow pit fruit, white chocolate and hay. A fresh and lively palate mixed with a rich, mouth-filling decadence and concentration. Long-lived.