We began producing Carbonic Sangiovese in 2013 in an effort to make a fresh, delicious version of Sangiovese. Sangiovese as a grape, is both highly tannic and high in acid – a one-two combination that can deliver a whopping blow to the palate. Before we experimented with carbonic fermentation, we intentionally picked Sangiovese on the ripe side to allow for tannins and acids to soften. Then we aged the wine in barrel for 30 months and another 6 months in bottle prior to release. The extended age allowed for the tannin and acid to integrate, as the fruit profile and mid-palate richness enveloped any harshness on the finish. Carbonic Fermentation – allowing the grapes to ferment whole, uncrushed in a sealed tank– allows for a red wine containing only a fraction of the tannin present in a traditionally fermented red wine. Without the threat of an overly tannic wine, we can pick earlier, at lower sugar and high, refreshing acidity. Because we don’t need to wait for integration, we bottle the wine within a few months of harvest, locking in the fresh, un-oxidized profile. In 2016 we re-branded Carbonic Sangiovese “Love You Bunches” – a pun on the gentle treatment of the whole grape bunches. All grapes must be kept intact through fermentation. Of course, the simple, whimsical label is the perfect fit for this fun, happy wine. The label shows off vineyard manager and Grape Whisperer, Ruben Solorzano’s beautiful penmanship.
The 2020 vintage started with much needed late rain in March and April. The cold moisture pushed back bud break and set up an anticipated late harvest. Ripening then accelerated after late season heat waves. The first carbonic Sangiovese picks were ready a couple weeks after a minor heat-spike on August 15th,. After letting vines recover from a Labor Day weekend heatwave that peaked on September 6th, we commenced harvesting the lion’s share of Sangiovese in mid through late September and cooler sites continued to trickle in through mid-October. The resulting 2020 Love You Bunches Carbonic Sangiovese shows off a breadth of flavor and texture from the light, crisp high-toned rose-like quality to the more substantive texture and depth of the later picks.
Serve cold! The Long 2020 carbonic Sangiovese harvest led to a wine that delivers in immediate approachability. The typical Love You Bunches pizzazz of fresh red berry fruit and cherries that we all adore give way to lychee and pomegranate. Fleshier and softer than the more angular 2018 and 2019 vintages, the 2020 has a more cushioned mid-palate. Rico Suave! Darker notes of plum and pluot accompanied by signature tartness and lingering acidity.
Over 20 years ago, our Founding Partner, Tom Stolpman, discovered what we believe to be one of the greatest viticultural sites on earth. Hidden in the hills of California’s Central Coast, on a rare Limestone outcropping & unobstructed from the Pacific Ocean wind, this unique land is naturally suited to grow Syrah and Roussanne grapes. We are committed to preserving this natural environment for our vines through conscious farming, dry farming, & sustainable employment. In the winery, we prefer native fermentation & minimal manipulation.
Dedicated to sensible farming & winemaking, we believe that we can create vibrant, site-specific wines, with a focus unique to Ballard Canyon AVA, California.