Stagiaire - 'Sufficiently Whelming' - Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc - Redwood Valley, Mendocino, CA - 2021
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Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay from vines planted in the 40s at Lolonis in Redwood Valley. Organic and dry farmed. In a year with lots of issues due to drought, this fruit benefitted a ton from it. I had never seen such flavorful and developed skins at a low sugar level before, and the fermentation was very smooth. The Sav Blanc usually gets some botrytis here, but there wasnt any for this dry season.
Its life started in stainless and then it aged in used barrels for 9 months. The wine opens tight and flinty but relaxes into opulent citrus and tropical fruit. Think of a Capri Sun commercial where everyone is like liquid cool and doing sports and stuff. unwinding a bit more and more each time I try it and I think will reward some patience if you have the opportunity to stash some bottles away for a few years
The French word for apprentice and what the winemaker I worked for in Jura called me when other local vigneron asked who the hell the guy speaking really bad French was.
The name encapsulates humility, impermanence, and the pursuit of knowledge.
I work with vineyards that are organic at a minimum, actively seeking thoughtfull and regenerative practices instead of recipe farming. Most importantly I want to work with good people that are trying to farm with nature instead of against it. Starting in 2020 I am farming a few parcels of my own.
If we have good grapes, why add anything to them in the cellar?