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2009 Carneros "Sangiacomo Vineyard"

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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...

The spring brought late rain, which prompted vigor and health in the vines, and these vines were harvested long before the unusually early rains in the fall. The harvest was earlier than usual, as it was in 2008 as well. Yields were, across almost all of our vineyard, lower than expected. So, our total production of Pinot Gris off of these eight rows was fairly low, but of excellent quality.


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. 396 cases produced.


Tasting Notes...
Tangerine, key lime, 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, meyer lemon and ripe tangerine. This vintage the palate produces a pleasant and pronounced lime zest flavor. 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.