About the Vineyard...
Starting in 1999, we began an experiment with the Sangiacomo family and Pinot Gris. Based on that initial success, we embarked on a larger scale project, and the Sangiacomo’s planted 2 acres of Pinot Gris exclusively for Ancien, using clones that we imported from Alsace. The rich, clay soils and eastern aspect of the site, coupled with the farming expertise of the Sangiacomo’s, produces ideal fruit for the richer flavored, fuller bodied, well structured Alsatian style that we are striving to produce. The vineyard has matured nicely, yielding consistently ripe fruit with bracing acidity. We are the sole winery that is sourcing Pinot Gris from this special plot, our “vineyard-within-the-vineyard.”
2014 graced us with another pleasant growing year. Despite the relatively dry, warm winter and threats of drought, soil moisture was adequate to abundant ensuring a good foundation for the growing season. An early bud break was followed by warm weather which yielded a perfect fruit set, with up to 4 seeds forming per berry in bigger and more populated clusters. The consistently warm weather helped to bring on an early harvest since everything, even the seeds, were fully ripe and ready for the picking.
We pressed aggressively for maximum extraction of the exotic spices and to gain additional structure. We then separated press fractions in order to insure the proper development of structure and lushness while in barrel. We fermented the must entirely in neutral French oak barrels at a cool 50 °F, capturing and retaining rich fruit flavors while also developing a lush, expansive palate. In addition, we stirred lees to enhance texture and develop additional layers. 667 cases produced.
Spectacular aromatics are enhanced by a flinty, mineral mouthfeel and lingering finish. Asian pear, Meyer lemon, and tangerine present bold early notes, seconded by key lime and Granny Smith apples. The nose is well spiced with meringue, clove, and salt-water taffy. On the palate are found key lime notes, stony earth, cardamom and allspice complementing the bold fruit notes of mandarin, star fruit, green apple, and pear. The marvelous mouthfeel is bright and steely while lingering and mineral, a magical combination. Pair this with grilled meats, seafood, pastas with olive oil or cream sauces, Asian cuisine...the combination of its rich mid-palate, smooth tannins, and acidic structure make this wine unusually versatile at the table.