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.
Our Estate Pinot Noir represents the essence of our organically farmed vineyards with grapes sourced from every block, with multiple row orientations, sun aspects and clonal selections, all of which are planted in rich clay soils. Having these unique soils, creates a fuller and deeper impression in the mouth much the way marbling in Wagyu beef produces a far more succulent dining experience.It is a classic example of Pinot Noir and is a great entry point into understanding our vineyard.
Our estate wines reflect the essence of our terroir. Derived from a selection of our small blocks, these wines express the roundness derived from our rich clay soils, while also conveying the tension derived from the maritime influences that challenge our vines every day. Blending these blocks provides us the opportunity to produce wines that are immensely drinkable now, yet will also deliver great drinking for the next 5+ years. 14 months in 25% new French oak. 20% whole-cluster fermented. 592 cases. 13.0% alcohol. Pretty red and blue colors with aromas of bramble-berry, cinnamon, orange blossom and Holiday spice. Velvety weight, driven and structured.
This is our fourth bottling of UNUM, which is sourced from our oldest vines and encompasses only two acres of Dijonnaise Pinot Noir Clone 667. Planted in 2006, this block enjoys a beautiful south sun-facing orientation on thick, dense clay, creating fruit that always over-achieves qualitatively. We attribute the wine’s luxuriousness and roundness to its denser and richer soils much like the way marbling in Rib-Eye steak increases the meat’s flavor and generosity versus less fatty and flavorful cuts of meat. The wine weighs more in the palate and is both broader and longer in its finish. This extra architecture offers more concentration allowing the wine to be enjoyed now with more complex Pinot Noir friendly dishes while also assuring its age worthiness beyond 5+ years. 14 months in 33% new French oak. 20% whole- cluster fermented. 463 cases. 13.5% alcohol. A classic UNUM in aromas and palate. Dark red color with intoxicating aromas of bramble-berry red and blue fruits, baking spices, geraniums and white tropical flowers. Generous, juicy and fleshy on the palate ending deliciously and wanting more.
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.