|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.
|2014 Grenache (Bates Ranch)|
There is, in my view, no other region in California that compares to the Santa Cruz Mountains for producing wines of distinctive terroir expression. Something about its mountain soils and mix of sandstone and greenstone, plus the lush surrounding herbs that encircle its tiny vineyards and impart their own distinctive “air-oir” gives each vineyard a unique stamp. The area is moderated by heavy Pacific influence but also lifted above the fog so that it enjoys plenty of cool direct sunlight, the perfect recipe for the grape to express itself.
|2014 Sparkling Grenache|
In the course of walking this vineyard to determine ripeness for our Red Grenache, we discovered a section quite low in color from which we decided to make a rosé. While the initial idea was an early release wine full of strawberries, we reckoned without the austerity which the Santa Cruz Mountains soils impart, so that we ended up with a wine of great richness and depth but also aromatically quite closed. While waiting for it to open up, the wine also underwent a spontaneous malolactic, causing us to scratch our heads as to its best use. Our intrepid Assistant Winemaker Mike Faulk, in a flash of brilliance, suggested we make a methode champenoise sparkling wine.
|2014 Saint Laurent (Ricci Vineyard)|
This grape has very tight clusters and does poorly in humid climes like France, preferring high altitude where dry air and high UV suppress mold. It is widely planted in Austria and is the principal red grape of the Czech Republic, where it is known by its German name, Sankt Laurent. It matures very early, near the martyrdom date of Saint Lawrence of Rome, who was executed by Emperor Valerian on August 10 of the year 258 AD.
|2014 Pinot Gris (Arroyo Seco)|
This grape was originally discovered in Burgundy sometime in the Middle Ages as a mutation of Pinot Noir, and is genetically identical to its parent except for a single gene, and shares its florality, oily mouthfeel and stone fruit aromas as well as tremendous sensitivity to the terroir of a specific site.