Oddities

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WineSmith 2013 Lost Chord Syrah
WineSmith 2013 Lost Chord Syrah

Our first experience with the Pierce family’s extraordinary Ishi Pishi vineyard near Hoopla in northern Humboldt County. Pat and Joachim Pierce are talented organic growers skilled in grapes and other crops. The vineyard is nestled in a sheltered clearing surrounded by forested mountains with a rich red clayey loam soil that produces full ripeness at low brix. Their skills and the site’s perfect characteristics produce wines of unrivaled density and integrity that preserve themselves without sulfites, and in time produce wines of astonishing complexity and depth that age well.

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$75.00Available

WineSmith 2018 Norton
WineSmith 2018 Norton

Although most wine experts confine their expertise to the European Vitis vinifera varieties, there are almost 100 other Vitis species, some of which make very good wine.

Dr. Norton was a 19th century breeder who crossed a wild Virginia Vitis aestivalis with an unknown parent to produce one of the most respected and widely produced reds in the U.S., with over 500 wineries offering examples.

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$50.00Available

WineSmith 2004 Roman Reserve Syrah
WineSmith 2004 Roman Reserve Syrah

William Younger’s “Gods, Men and Wine” offers compelling evidence that the 1,000 year Roman winemaking tradition did not involve sulfites. In 2001 we decided to undertake an experiment in ancient winemaking, vinifying this robust syrah grown in high-altitude living granite with and without the modern sulfite addition all the experts tout as indispensable. The conventional lot, we found, was indeed cleaner, and even possessed a more solid structure. But it brought to mind a perfect but sterile construction with nobody home. Without sulfites, the same grapes offered up incredibly intricate aromatics full of mystery and soul. The difference reminded us of the extra dimensionality of flavor one finds in great unpasteurized French cheeses.

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$75.00Not Available

2014 Meritage Roman Reserve (Humboldt County)
2014 Meritage Roman Reserve (Humboldt County)

'14 Meritage offers affordable profundity

Introducing Humboldt Meritage, our first release from the Pierce family’s extraordinary Ishi Pishi vineyard. These talented organic growers and the site’s perfect characteristics produce wines of unrivaled density and integrity that in time gain astonishing complexity and depth, aging graceully without need of preservatives.

We vinified the field blend without sulfites, stabilized the structure with discreet doses of oxygen, barreled down in neutral wood and ignored it for more than five years. What emerged is an indescribably alluring wine that seductively pulls you into the glass. The wine remains fresh and purple, and will repay extensive further cellaring. Delicious now or in two decades. Recommended with steak porcini, ripe époisse cheese or duck fois gras.

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$60.00Available

2008 Pinot Noir
2008 Pinot Noir

This wine’s story is quite unique. When the movie Sideways created an insane demand for California’s very limited supply of Pinot Nir, we went looking into previously unimagined sources such as the hard press “taille” from sparkling wine production. We discovered that a special crossflow filter called an ultrafilter could harvest the high tannin in these wines as a concentrate we could sell for beefing up weak reds, leaving us with aromatically wonderful Pinot Noir which then needed some color. In 2008 we bought hard press Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, Anderson Valley and Marin County and produced this blend. We found an aromatically neutral teinturier named Rubired in a Lodi vineyard and used it to supply the color and structure to support these aromatics.

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$50.00Available

2004 Roman Syrah - 1.5 Liter Magnum
2004 Roman Syrah - 1.5 Liter Magnum

William Younger’s “Gods, Men and Wine” offers compelling evidence that the 1,000 year Roman winemaking tradition did not involve sulfites. In 2001 we decided to undertake an experiment in ancient winemaking, vinifying this robust syrah grown in high-altitude living granite with and without the modern sulfite addition all the experts tout as indispensable.

Read more ...

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$150.00Available

2017 Norton
2017 Norton

Although most wine experts confine their expertise to the European Vitis vinifera varieties, there are almost 100 other Vitis species, some of which make very good wine. Dr. Norton was a 19th century breeder who crossed a wild Virginia Vitis aestivalis with an unknown parent to produce one of the most respected and widely produced reds in the U.S., with over 500 wineries offering examples.

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$50.00Available

2005 Faux Chablis (Student Vineyard)
2005 Faux Chablis (Student Vineyard)

For those who have followed the Napa Valley College Student Vineyard Faux Chablis series since 2001, this wine will make perfect sense.

The first thing you will notice is its color, which is very dark amber with a touch of peach, much like the fire wines Georgian Rkatsitelli sometimes produces. One can be forgiven for imagining this as oxidation, but it is not. It is simply incredible density.

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$40.00Available

2010 Cabernet Franc Roman Reserve, Lot 2 (Two Jakes)
2010 Cabernet Franc Roman Reserve, Lot 2 (Two Jakes)

Diamond Ridge is located in a sunny high altitude site with rocky granitic soils which force Cabernet Franc to put its energy into pushing its roots down into the rock, resulting in a lively mineral energy in the wine’s finish. These conditions develop good color and firm but refined tannins which impart amazing age-worthiness.

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$50.00Available