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2008 Carneros "Sangiacomo Vineyard" Pinot Gris

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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 Sangiocomo’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.”

About the Vintage...
2008 started out with some difficulty, with the vines suffering a terrific frost and drought conditions.  The frost, however, proved to have a silver lining, limiting yields severely and so enabling the vines to weather the drought nicely.  In other words, the vines were able to produce excellent quality, though at significantly lower quantities.  Warmer than average mornings, through much of the summer, gave a boost to the vines, and harvest actually arrived earlier than usual.  We picked this vineyard a full 16 days earlier than the previous three vintages.  The fruit possesses the structure and acidity that we have come to expect from this vineyard, and shows the warmth of the vintage in its softer mid-palate.

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.  467 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
Tangerine, honeysuckle, Asian pear, orange blossom, and honey--with a whiff of marzipan and jasmine--provide the exotic backdrop to our Pinot Gris. The palate expands and softens into round melon flavors mixed with apricot and ripe tangerine, finishing with a smooth viscosity braced by key lime and acidity. Mineral and spice notes mingle with tropical fruit for a long finish.  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.