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2011 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...

2011 began cool, with later bud break.  Flowering and fruit set was disrupted by heavy and uncharacteristically late rain storms.  This limited fruit production considerably resulting in significantly lower yields, sometimes as low as half of typical production.  The summer remained cool--one of the coolest on record--pushing the harvest date back further into September.  In the end, vineyard management and assiduous farming practices helped to insure that this well-situated vineyard ripened fully, yielding wines with tremendous elegance and brightness and marked by bold aromatics.

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. We fermented the must entirely in neutral French oak barrels at a cool 50 °F, capturing and retaining rich fruit flavors while also developing a lush, expansive palate. In addition, we stirred lees to enhance texture and develop additional layers.  336 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...

The wine opens with bold and powerful aromatics.  Lemon zest, tangerine, honeydew melon, lychee fruit, marzipan.  A second layer reveals key lime pie, honey, fresh baked bread, wet stone, and hazelnut.  The palate is bright, with forward notes of citrus and a mid-palate of star fruit, 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.