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2007 Carneros Pinot Gris

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About the Vineyard...
Starting in 1999, we began an experiment with the Sangiocomo family and pinot gris. Based on that initial success, we embarked on a larger scale project, and the Sangiocomo’s planted 2 acres of pinot gris exclusively for Ancien, using imported Alsacian clones. The rich, clay soils and eastern aspect of the site, coupled with the farming expertise of the Sangiocomo’s, produces ideal fruit for the richer flavored, fuller bodied, well structured Alsacian style that we are striving to produce. The vineyard has matured nicely, yielding consistently ripe fruit with bracing acidity. Currently, we are the only winery that is sourcing pinot gris from this vineyard.

About the Vintage...
2007 was just slightly warmer than the previous vintage, however, the heat was even, with no major spikes to disrupt a long, slow ripening. The grapes retained their acidity nicely, reaching a full and well-balanced ripeness. We harvested at night on September 26, just one day earlier than the past two vintages. A nice sign, we think, for the vineyard and its development.

About the Wine...
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. Fermentation was carried out entirely in neutral French oak barrels at a cool 50 °F, capturing and retaining rich fruit flavors while also developing a lush, expansive palate. Lees were stirred to enhance texture and develop additional layers. Wine analysis: Alc. 14%, pH 3.49, TA 6.5 g/l. , RS 0.5 g/l. 550 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
Tangerine, honeysuckle, grapefruit, Asian pear, orange blossom, and honey--with a whiff of marzipan--provide the exotic backdrop to our pinot gris. The palate expands with soft and round melon flavors and a smooth viscosity braced by key lime and acidity. Mineral and spice notes mingle with tropical fruit for a long finish.