The Ancien Philosophy
Our wine making philosophy can be summed up in two words, “balance” and “expression.” We do not make wine by recipe, looking instead at each new harvest, at each new batch of fruit as a unique challenge, with its own unique set of possibilities. Arriving at these possibilities requires constant experimentation and constant attention to detail. To do this right, we work with the fruit on a small scale. As much as technology has to offer us, we find that it can never replace the personal attention that a wine maker can give. So we prefer to keep the scale of operations small. We ferment our chardonnay and pinot gris in barrels and our pinot noirs in one ton, open-top fermenters. The extra work involved delivers a difference that we can taste and smell and see and enjoy.
We endeavor to create wines that are in balance and harmony, wines that drink well alone or with an extensive array of cuisines. Wines that drink well young and that age gracefully, developing new manifestations of aroma and flavor in the bottle while always preserving a core of primary fruit expressions. Wines, finally, that bring a full spectrum of flavors and aromas, that fill out the palate from the first sip through to a long, long finish, wines with subtlety and sophistication, wines that never favor one part of the palate over another but fill the senses evenly and harmoniously.
Great wines, ultimately, reveal the uniqueness of their vineyard source, and so we pay extra close attention to our vineyards so that we can allow their character to come through the wines. To achieve this, we avoid manipulating the wines toward a “house” style or towards the latest frenzied market craze. You might say that we do as little as we possibly can to make great wine. To this end, we pay an almost absurd amount of attention to the extraction of flavors and colors, patiently coaxing them out in their full richness and nuance. Each vineyard that we work in presents a unique confluence of climate, soils, clonal selection, and age, and we want all of those differences to present themselves in the finished wines.