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2010 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...

2010 was a challenge to the nerves as well as a chance for experienced wine makers to strut their stuff.  In other words, those with experience were advantaged with the working knowledge of how best to manage their vineyards and to keep their fruit clean and healthy.  Heavy spring rains were followed by a summer season that was significantly cooler than average.  A mid-season heat spike, with temperatures suddenly topping 100, left a percentage of clusters burned up and dried out.  As the later-than-average harvest progressed, heavy rains started earlier than usual.  Our Pinot Gris benefited from the coolness and was harvested before the fall rains.  The fruit held tremendous acidity and shows off with bright fruit and a long, lingering mineral mouthfeel.


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.  496 cases produced.


Tasting Notes...
Tangerine, key lime, meyer lemon, Asian pear, orange blossom, and honey--with a whiff of lilac and jasmine--provide the exotic backdrop to our Pinot Gris. The palate is bright, with  forward notes of citrus and a mid-palate of tropical fruit, apple, pear, and citrus flavors.  A rich mouth feel develops and mingle with tropical fruit and holiday spices 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.