WINE FROM SPECIAL PLACES

THE HUNT FOR COMPELLING VINEYARDS OFTEN REQUIRES A PATH LESS TRODDEN

From the rugged mountains of Mendocino County to the foggy valleys below Santa Cruz Mountains, there is a finite number of truly great Northern California vineyard sites growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Our charge is to find the best grapes and to render wines that faithfully translate the unique expression of place.

CHARDONNAY

Bottle-SoCo-Chardonnay
SoCo, Sonoma County
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SoCo - 2019 Chardonnay, Sonoma County

*The original New California Chardonnay*

The 2019 vintage gave us brilliant, acid-driven whites across the board that remind us of our 2014s. In some cases the wines surpassed the epic 2018 vintage in terms of quality. Perfectly ripe grape skins provided an aromatic profile that is off-the-charts. This 2019 SoCo also got a “pedigree bump” as we blended down several primo barrels of Tidal Break, Casa Seca, and Estero into the big SoCo tank. The majority of the wine is still raised in 100% stainless steel, but the small additions of declassified vineyard designates (raised in old oak) take the complexity of this SoCo to the next level. Many longtime followers say: “best ever.”

AROMA
chamomile, kiwi, rock salt
FLAVOR
pear skin, lemon verbena, limestone
PAIRINGS
chicken cutlet, mac ‘n’ cheese, king crab tostada

SHOP WINE

bottle shot of estero wine
Estero, Russian River Valley
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Estero - 2018 Chardonnay, Russian River

*Rock Juice*

If you like Chardonnay that smells like crushed up river stones & preserved lemons…we have a wine for you. Estero is “…not your father’s Oldsmobile.” It a Chardonnay for the doubters. A wine that calls to mind the restrained California wines of a bygone era…like those that went to the famous Paris Tasting of 1976. It resembles in many ways the Burgundian wines that inspired it–but it is decidedly, unabashedly Californian. These clusters, while harvested early to preserve natural acidity, reveal their special relationship with our Mediterranean sun. “Ripe acidity” is what we are talking about here. The kind you find a late spring Meyer lemon. No oakiness, no butter. Just a chiseled, mouthwatering, Russian River white wine. A selection of premier RRV vineyards compose this wine including Butch Cameron, Teac Mor, & Goldridge. All sites situated 8-10 miles from the coast in gravelly loam & sandstone soils known as Goldridge. Clonal material based on Old Wente & Clone 4. This growing region distinguished by its proximity to the cold Pacific Ocean & its complex relationship to the Russian River.

AROMA
wet hay, Thai basil leaf, nectarine pit
FLAVOR
lime leaf, star fruit, rock salt
PAIRINGS
Dungeness crab, Oysters Rockefeller, mac ‘n’ cheese

bottle shot of demuth chardonnay
Demuth Vineyard, Anderson Valley
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Demuth Vineyard Chardonnay, Anderson Valley

A mountain top vineyard at 1600 feet looking down on the Anderson Valley. Dry-farmed, Wente clone chardonnay planted on 1982 AXR-1 roots. Soil type is shallow layer of clay on top of fractured rock. Intense daily temperature fluctuations of 40 degrees. Extreme climate produces late harvest dates (often weeks later than valley floor) and naturally low yields.

AROMA
mustard seed, quartz, tangerine oil
FLAVOR
white peach pit, sunflower seed, quinine
FOOD PAIRINGS
sweet shrimp, latkehs, boudin blanc

bottle shot of la marisma chardonnay
La Marisma Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains
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La Marisma Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains

A southwest facing, hillside vineyard tucked into an ocean-cooled valley near the town of Aptos, six miles from the Pacific. Mount Eden selection chardonnay planted in 1998. Soil type is a deep alluvial fan of sand & calcareous marine deposits with excellent drainage. Reliable morning fog results in daily temperature fluctuations of 40+ degrees. The pattern of fog/sun/fog ensures proper vine respiration & very even ripening.

AROMA
key lime, lemongrass, graham cracker
FLAVOR
lemon bar, white tea, saline
FOOD PAIRINGS
scallop crudo, ono tacos, chicken picata

bottle shot of howard vineyard chardonnay
Howard Family Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains
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Howard Family Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains

This choice little “home vineyard” is tucked into a fog-choked valley four miles from the cold Pacific Ocean. It grows on colluvial soils of golden sand and calcareous deposits. Clonal material is Old Wente planted in the early 1970s. This uniquely temperate region is defined by its relationship to the sea, reliable fog, and coastal redwoods.

AROMA
starfruit, chalk, green papaya
FLAVOR
pineapple rind, crushed stone, pain au levain
FOOD PAIRINGS
ham + gruyere bread pudding, tuna fish salad w/ sesame oil, scalloped potatoes

bottle shot of chuy vineyard chardonnay
Chuy Vineyard, Sonoma Valley
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Chuy Vineyard Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley

Sitting at 1000 feet above the Sonoma Valley, the Chuy Vineyard was planted in 1964 by legendary viticulturist Jesus “Chuy” Ordaz. Situated on a band of rocky, low nutrient soils with little to no water. The dry-farmed, head-trained Wente clone vines are known for tiny grape yields derived from “chicks & hens” (irregular clusters). Farming grapes here is difficult but the rewards are the long-lived, soil-driven wines that endure.

AROMA
bosc pear, hazelnut, mustard seed
FLAVOR
lemon cream, golden apple, crushed chalk
FOOD PAIRINGS
boudin blanc, chicken liver terrine, white pizza

bottle shot of skycrest vineyard
Skycrest Vineyard, Anderson Valley
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Skycrest Vineyard Chardonnay, Anderson Valley

This elusive vineyard is pitched along a series of ridge lines at 2500′ in bucolic Anderson Valley. Its tough mountainous soils range from grey shale to decomposed sandstone with veins of quartz crystal. The clonal material differs by block—this wine is a blend of Clones 72 + 4. This eastern edge of the valley is subject to extreme temperature swings, late flowering, and naturally low yields.

AROMA
pineapple, matchstick, white flower
FLAVOR
lemon drops, quartz, underripe peach
FOOD PAIRINGS
seared scallops w/ lime zest, potato chips w/ crema + caviar, Taleggio frittata

PINOT NOIR

Bottle-SoCo-Chardonnay
Laguna, Sonoma Coast
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Laguna Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

From a selection of premier Sonoma Coast vineyards including Teac Mor & Goldridge. Pinot Noir clones Pommard, 777 & Martini planted in gravelly loam soils known locally as Goldridge, in modest elevations of +/- 200 feet. Defining features of this complex region include the omnipresent Pacific Ocean, its coastal forests & the fog-catching Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed.

AROMA
Bearss lime, cherry pit, Jolly Rancher
FLAVOR
wild strawberry, Ruby grapefruit, kiwi
PAIRINGS
chips & guac, chicken wings, fish soup

bottle shot of estero wine
La Selva, Anderson Valley
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La Selva Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley

From a selection of premier Anderson Valley sites including Romani & Wentzel. Pinot Noir clones Pommard, 115, 667 and 777 planted in varied soils of decomposed sandstone, clay, and fractured rock in elevations ranging from 400-800 feet. Along with an omnipresent marine influence, this valley is defined by the presence of old growth redwood trees. La Selva means ‘the forest’ in Spanish.

AROMA
Italian plum, juniper, potting clay
FLAVOR
huckleberry, cedar shavings, spice box
FOOD PAIRINGS
wild king salmon, slow braised pork shoulder, lamb burger

bottle shot of demuth chardonnay
Saveria Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains
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Saveria Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains

A hidden vineyard near the town of Aptos, a mere 4.5 miles from the Pacific. Pinot clones 115, 667, & 777 planted in the late 1990s. Soil is a deep colluvial fan of sand & calcareous marine deposits with excellent drainage. Exchange of fog/sun ensures proper vine respiration & very even ripening. Maritime climate necessitates extended hang times. Farmed by Prudy Foxx, aka “the Vine Whisperer.”

AROMA
mulberry, violet liqueur, crushed seashell
FLAVOR
Italian plum, black tea, dried porcini
FOOD PAIRINGS
abalone, cod in miso broth, funghi pizza

Bottle-SoCo-Chardonnay
Cerise Vineyard, Anderson Valley
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Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley

An extreme Pinot Noir vineyard clinging to a windswept ridge above the town of Boonville. Pinot Noir clones Pommard, 115, 667, and 777 planted in the mid-1990’s on various exposures at elevations ranging from 1030-1100 feet. Forty degree temperature swings are common. The low vigor soil is a blend of Bear Wallow-Wolfy, Hopland, and Yorkville complex. Meticulously farmed by the team at Knez Winery.

AROMA
Rainer cherry, lilac, iron shavings
FLAVOR
blackberry, coco nibs, sarsaparilla
FOOD PAIRINGS
Peking duck, buffalo meatballs in red sauce, lamb chops

bottle shot of estero wine
Kiser Vineyard, Anderson Valley
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Kiser Vineyard Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley

Just 10-miles from the Pacific, the iconic Kiser Vineyard is situated in the far northwestern corner of Anderson Valley’s “Deep End.” An extremely cool site with two distinctive blocks, each with its own clones/soil type. The upper block ‘En Haut’ has clones 114, 667, and 777 on compressed sandstone and bands of schist. The lower block ‘En Bas’ has clone 115 on dense stony soils. The vineyard is cared for by the Kiser family.

AROMA
bitter chocolate, black cherry, five-spice, mineral
FLAVOR
black raspberry, walnut, dried orange peel
FOOD PAIRINGS
mesquite grilled Cojo, braised pork shoulder, morrels

bottle shot of demuth chardonnay
Demuth Vineyard, Anderson Valley
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Demuth Vineyard Pinto Noir, Anderson Valley

An extreme Pinot Noir vineyard situated along the ridge lines at 1100 feet above the town of Boonville. Late to bloom, late to ripen, with 40 degree daily temperature swings common. Pinot Noir clone 2A planted in the mid-1990’s on a SxSW exposure. The low vigor soil is a blend of Bear Wallow-Wolfy, Hopland, and Yorkville complex. Meticulously farmed by the team at Kosta Brown.

AROMA
sour red cherry, black plum, cedar bark
FLAVOR
red raspberry, pomegranate, lilac
FOOD PAIRINGS
Peking duck, fennel pork sausage, squid ink pasta

OUTLIERS

Bottle-SoCo-Chardonnay
Lolonis Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Redwood Valley
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Lolonis Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Redwood Valley

This historic Prohibition-era ranch boasts some of the oldest known Vitis vinifera plantings in California. The Sauvignon Blanc was planted in 1945. The vines are head-trained and dry-farmed organically on red clay soils strewn with fist-sized rocks. An extreme diurnal shift necessitates longer hang times (and a steady temperament). The vineyard is overseen by the capable Athan Poulos.

AROMA
white grapefruit, tarragon, talc
FLAVOR
lemon drop, kumquat, oat
FOOD PAIRINGS
cheve, crab Louis, amberjack crudo

Bottle-Shot-Outlier-Rose
Rosé of Carignan, Mendocino County
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Rosé of Carignan, Mendocino County

From a mid-century planting of dry-farmed, head-trained Carignan. A severe diurnal shift supports gradual and often late ripening. The soil is red clay strewn with fist sized rocks. The combination of vine age, extended growing season, and tougher soil conspire to produce a rosé with great freshness and complexity.

AROMA
cilantro, fresh-picked strawberry, rhubarb
FLAVOR
watermelon juice, seashell, white grapefruit
PAIRINGS
guacamole + chips, shrimp in olive oil + lemon, beet-cured lox

bottle shot of demuth chardonnay
Sativa, Mendocino County Carignan
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Sativa Carignan, Mendocino County

From a historic Mendocino vineyard pitched on the lofty slopes of Cloverdale’s Pine Mountain. Jim McCutchen boast 70-year old, head-pruned, dry-farmed vines planted on south-facing exposures at 2200-2400 feet. The soil is a mix of hard shale & clay. This rapidly vanishing California grape variety—made in this ‘old-timey’ way—harkens back to the Golden State’s earliest winemaking efforts.

AROMA
black cherry, sarsaparilla, cacao
FLAVOR
salted plum, black rapsberry, cola
FOOD PAIRINGS
lamb burger, steak frites, Korean BBQ

Bottle-Shot-Outlier-Lolonis-Valdigue
Lolonis Vineyard Valdigue, Redwood Valley
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Lolonis Vineyard Valdigue, Redwood Valley

This historic Prohibition-era ranch boasts some of the oldest known Vitis vinifera plantings in California. The Valdiguie, a heritage variety also known as Napa Gamay, was planted in 1945. The vines are head-trained and dry-farmed organically on red clay soils strewn with fist-sized rocks. An extreme diurnal shift necessitates longer hang times (and a steady temperament). The vineyard is overseen by the capable Athan Poulos.

AROMA
bluberry skin, violet liqueur, tobacco leaves
FLAVOR
mulberry jam, quince paste, Mission fig
FOOD PAIRINGS
wood fired steaks, lamb shanks, olive tapenade