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.
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.