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Croix Estate

WAYPOINT NEWS

Jason Williams
 
February 9, 2024 | Jason Williams

WE HAVE A DREAM | For The Curious & The Astute Alike

We have a dream: To create beautiful, seamless aesthetic surroundings where one finds refreshment for the soul seeking refuge from the cacophony of daily life. To provide a holistic contemplation where anyone can find access to experiencing the finest wines humankind has to offer, should that be their desired pursuit. Ours is an experience where the curious newcomer can comingle with the astute collector to lift our glasses in appreciation for participation in what we believe is the most fascinating vocation on the planet.

We have a dream: Where unlimited possibilities in winemaking are embraced and respected for the courage, the grind, and the determination it takes to reach greatness in our industry. Where revelations through experimentation elbow out hardened, stale systems of false efficiency and learned laziness. Where mediocre wine is always discarded in the pursuit of achieving perfection.

We have a dream: Where apologies are made for nothing, not for our best-in-show client service that values the human experience; not for our fun-loving, storytelling hospitality that holds you captive for two hours; not for our luscious, vibrant grounds where the ride to entry is as bumpy as it was one-hundred years ago; not for producing full bodied, full flavored, beautifully balanced wines worthy of bearing our name; and, not for our pure grit that sometimes grinds others the wrong way.

12 years ago we bonded our first vintages of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. To this day, our dream stands on the shoulders of giants come before us, extrapolating core knowledge-diamonds from which we build gems and jewels that reflect our shared vision of perfection; taking the precedent of history and applying it to our growing environment to produce wines that are identifiable as Croix Estate.

Your Winter allocation contains the pinnacle of greatness within our portfolio of production. These wines are renditions worthy of consideration from the novice and the collector alike. As always, all wines are produced in less than 200 case increments.

With gratitude, in advance, for your continued engagement in our journey.

Acquire Your Allocation Here

2022 Richard Dinner Chardonnay | Richard Dinner Vineyard, Sonoma Mountain

Varieties 100% Chardonnay | Method: 100% Wholecluster Pressed, 100% Native Primary & Secondary, 45% New French Oak, Unfiltered.

Leave it to the coastal gods to teach us a thing or two about the long arm of coastal influence deep into the southeastern reaches of Sonoma County. Sitting at a peak elevation of 2,000+ feet, facing west to the pacific ocean, directionally speaking, this vineyard lies at the target point of a roundhouse kick to the face in a lesson in location, location, location. Those familiar with the Petaluma Gap AVA know that late afternoon breezes can quickly turn to brisk fog-outs that blanket vast swaths of square mileage. Sonoma Mountain lies in this direct path. Few Sonoma County wine regions are so singularly defined by elevation, exposure, and geographical features as the Sonoma Mountain American Viticulture Area (AVA). Combine soil and micro-climate diurnal temperature variation, organic viticultural practices, a deft hand at coaxing the finer nuances in naturally produced Chardonnay, and you have the recipe for producing perfection in the glass. Like all of our 2022 vintage Chardonnays, this is another stunning, complex Chardonnay. Spicy, zesty lemon rind are interlaced with tropical flower oil, sweet citrus, and exotic spices building an aromatic dream. Full-bodied, rich and yet deftly balanced with sharp acidity, caramel and rum cream leading to a savory and delicious balance of charred crème brûlée, ripe pears, and a structured, mouthwatering finish.

$75 | 8 Barrels Produced

2022 12 Rows Chardonnay | Ritchie Vineyard, aThe Middle Reach, Russian River Valley

Varieties 100% Chardonnay | Method: 100% Wholecluster Pressed, 100% Native Primary & Secondary, 45% New French Oak, Unfiltered.

Considered among the greatest Chardonnay vineyards in the new world, Kent Ritchie is a regular, down-to-earth farmer enraptured by a vocation that compels him to work his land as he sees fit. As we have said before, humility in the face of such admiration is so very refreshing and reminds us that our daily bread is earned, one vintage at a time. We are blessed to be a part of Kent Ritchie’s greatness. This Chardonnay emotes distinct memories growing up among groves of white peach trees, letting you know with one sniff that pure deliciousness is at hand. This wine opens with vanilla crème brûlée, Meyer lemon rind, and caramelized brown sugar causing the mouth to water with anticipation. There’s more racy delicacy laced with a touch creamy richness in the 2022 that showcases a precise hand in the making of this wine. Pink grapefruit, a mouthful of ripe, white peaches, and citrus curd are topped with sweet lemon cream and crisp, honey-baked apples. My goodness this is so delicious! Unfortunately, we lost half of our normal take to early frosts. This wine will sell out.

$75 | 5 Barrels Produced

 

2022 Srtarlings' Roost Chardonnay | Dutton-Morelli Vineyard, Green Valley, Russian River Valley

Varieties 100% Chardonnay | Method: 100% Wholecluster Pressed, 100% Native Primary & Secondary, 45% New French Oak, Unfiltered.

Our quest to produce Chardonnay that will age for a decade or longer began with the 2012 vintage of Starlings’ Roost Chardonnay. We were enraptured by this site’s history, location, and the deafening cacophony emanating from thousands of roosting Starlings. Positioned within the Occidental Cordillera, this is home to hallowed earth, revered by many a talented winemaker. Planted in the late 1890’s, it is a temperate vineyard location sitting above the fog line, subject to piercing, midday sunshine, deceiving its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. It is this terroir that makes this vineyard compelling and challenging with each vintage production. Boy do we love the ridge of acidity we are getting from the 2022 vintage of this wine, as it restrains the honeyed character just enough to allow for a more polished, pure effort. Earl Grey tea, tart Meyer lemon curd broaden with fresh tea leaves and lightly toasted pine nuts brings us back to our love for this site. Crisp Gravenstein apples and sweet pink grapefruit balance sweet and tart to perfection, leading to an expansive, lengthy finish of Hawaiian pineapple, cloves and a dash of toasty vanillin. Medium bodied and light on the viscosity, this wine is refreshing, vibrant, and worthy of decade in the cellar.

$75 | 8 Barrels Produced

2021 Kings Ridge Pinot Noir | Cinghiale Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast

Pinot Noir Clones: 828 & 777 | Method: 90% Pellenc destemmed, 10% Wholecluster, 5 Day Cold Soak, 100% Carbonic Native Inoculation, Hand Punch Down Cap Submersions, 50% New French Oak, 16 Months. Unfiltered.

A super-sexy, summer-sipping dream, our Estate SB is extremely limited in production with a cult following. As we always explain, just two rows exist on our estate, so delightful surprises in small batches continue to impress us from this sliver of vines. Enticing aromas of highly perfumed Amalfi lemons and citrus blossom mingle in with fresh wheat grass, white rose, honeysuckle and gardenia. On the palate, honey infused sweet pink grapefruit, base minerality, and Meyer lemon rind are delicately balanced with bright acidity, creamy nuances, anMost enthusiasts push-back on north coast Pinot Noir because it tends to skew acidic, light, and lacking the pleasantries we often find in a straight Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. It doesn’t have to be this way. We have increased hang-time in the growing cycle to increase core tannin and flavor development in the fruit. The results are stunning. If ever there were an “elite” vineyard classification system within the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations, Cinghiale Vineyard would sit squarely within this classification. Purchased by Dave Del Dotto in 2005, the “Cinghiale” (Italian for wild boar) Vineyard is named for the frequent inhabitants of the property. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it consists of 359 acres at the top of Kings Ridge in the Fort Ross-Seaview appellation, and is planted with 43-acres of Pinot Noir. It features a broad diversity of Pinot Noir clones with lineages hailing from the top vineyards in Burgundy, as well as select top-rated clones from its neighbors in California. Our production combines Clone 828 and 777, 10% whole cluster into open top fermenters. Among our most substantial, complex wines within our mix of single-vineyard Pinot Noirs, this wine is a rare beauty. Licorice, black cherries, sweet tobacco leaf, blue herbs, cream soda, and cardamom pull you in. On the palate this wine is massive and full-bodied with blackfruit compote, raspberries, plum concentrate, and crushed espresso bean, with mouthwatering acidity and a perpetual finish.

$105 | 6 Barrels Produced

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Time Posted: Feb 9, 2024 at 7:24 AM Permalink to WE HAVE A DREAM | For The Curious & The Astute Alike Permalink
Jason Williams
 
November 29, 2023 | Jason Williams

THE FINAL ALLOCATION OF 2023: If You Choose To Go | Throw Yourself Into Your Wave

Two people would die sleeping on the beach where we had camped just six weeks prior. It was a cold, isolated, rocky cove at the edge of a dark wood at the tip of the North Pacific Coast, where waves of epic proportions broke in successive, eighteen second intervals. These were large, heavy, black-water beasts isolated from human interference. Not one soul in the water for miles in view. Glorious set, upon glorious set, inviting us to test our mettle. This is a dangerous territory for light-framed humans in black wetsuits: seal-pup-sized and the perfect outline of a light snack for an eighteen-foot Great White.

With the smell of sweet Cypress peat and driftwood smoke sousing the air, a heavy emotion took hold, and we shared our thoughts on stepping into the void, “It’s a gorgeous rendering from god’s mind when you think about it,” quipped a young man wanting to sound grounded and present, as fear dripped down the inner leg of his wetsuit. This was his first time surfing here. “Like I said, this is heavy water, mate. Never turn your back to the ocean. Ever. Choose to live here for a while and paddle out alone, then you will come to know what I know. God won’t save you here. So, buckle up.” As only a friend of many years could reply.

Something primal happens to the soul who settles here. You see, to pack in your gear, food for three nights, a guitar, and a 12-gauge shotgun for protection builds character. You are free in spirit yet gripped by the prospect of the unknown. You fall, break a leash, wash out in a rip, and you are suddenly lost at sea. No matter how loud you scream. No matter how much you plead by a miracle you be saved. No one will come. This is a waypoint in a surfer’s life. You place your existence in the hands of fate and release the fear of consequence.

This is one canvas from which we paint our lives in the wine industry. Informative experiences that drive our instinct to push boundaries. We are nothing if not adventurous in spirit, wild at heart, and full of soul. We believe everyone has a waypoint in life – maybe more than one – where they can toggle and re-find inspiration to drive themselves further down the line in their vision quest for their lives. But…let’s be honest, far too many of us often give up. Maybe the day is too windy, too cold, and the surf…just too big. So, let us leave you with this one last story.

Four of us once hauled out on a mid-winter surf session so bloody cold and big we often refer to the session as “foot pads.” That is all that needs to be said. Foot pads. Blue lips, bone-white hands, ear lobes as fragile as ice chards, a broken surfboard, and feet so cold they felt like walking on twelve-inch ice blocks once you hit the rocky shore. One dude reveled in the high of the moment, shivering – “I was recalling the high points of our session,” – while the rest of us crawled out of our icy suits, dripping in hypothermia. Four shots of tequila, a case of beer, and a hot fire later, sure, we could laugh about it. It still brings chuckles around the table. What on earth were we thinking? Truth is, we were not thinking at all. We were just doing. Throwing ourselves into the wave of our life in that moment. Suffering. Laughing at the suffering. Savoring life.

Friends, you may be in for the ride of a lifetime or a wipeout from which you may struggle to recover. How will you ever know unless you choose to go? We are very grateful we chose to throw ourselves into this wave called Croix Estate. What a wild ride it has been so far! And, we are thrilled you are choosing to come along for the adventure.

The two wines featured in our final allocation of the year are appropriate for the moment. One launched our beginning into Pinot Noir and one that we are saying farewell to, as the last vintage produced is upon us. Both are very limited in production. So, get in here and throw yourselves over this awesome wave. You will not regret the ride.

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2021 South Block Six Pinot Noir | Platt Estate Vineyard, Sonoma Coast

Variety: 100% Pinot Noir, Clone 667 | Method | 100% Pellenc Destemmed, 5 Day Cold Soak, 100% Carbonic Native Inoculation Open Top Fermentation, Hand Punch Down Cap Submersion, Free-Run Transfer Via Gravity Flow| Aging Regimen, 40% New French Oak, 16 Months | Clarifying Via Barrel To Tank | 5 Barrels Produced

This will be the final vintage produced. 6 vintages into our run with this epic vineyard, the French Insurance money people have gobbled up yet another privately owned, elite vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. Epic sums of cash were laid out for this vineyard and no vineyard contracts were awarded beyond vintage 2021. Appropriate to the gist of our opening letter, we pushed into the Platt Vineyard wave early with the 2016 vintage and never looked back. Some of the most expensive fruit in Sonoma County as it relates to Pinot Noir by the acre, this elite, gem of a vineyard will be missed. Needless to say, the 2021 vintage follows true to form as with all previous vintages, knocking it out of the park and then some. If ever there were a “Grand Cru” classification system within Sonoma County, this would sit squarely in place. We will attempt to spread the love to as many recipients as we can with this wine, however, first priority will be given to those allocation recipients who have purchased this wine in the past. Do not miss your allotment of this wine.

Located in the western-most hills of Sebastopol, near Freestone, sitting at elevations that range from 400 feet to 800 feet, and situated just 5 miles from the Pacific coastline, the vineyard is planted to a mélange of Pinot Noir clones. At 31 acres, our vineyard parcel is located in the southwestern facing Block 6. While ridiculously close to the coastline, this vineyard is deceivingly warm. Taking the drive from the cold (62 degrees) fog soaked Bodega Highway, one courses the vineyard’s twisting road up the ridgeline and into the summer sun, where daytime temperatures range from the low 70’s to the mid 80’s. This is a spectacular juxtaposition of climate at elevation and serves as the foundation for producing some of Sonoma County’s finest, and most expensive Pinot Noir, with an average per ton cost of $11,000-$15,000 in most vintages. And, we think you will discover, it is so worth it!

Opulent, red and blue fruit come together on this wine on the nose. Goodness, this is going to be delicious. Cranberry, blueberry , crushed cinnamon, and plum draw you into the glass. A dark, purple hew hints at pedigree in the glass. Red fruits, black plums, and blueberry are framed with supple tannins, minerality, leather, sweet tobacco, and allspice leading to a balanced viscosity and weight on the palate. There is substantial glide in the finish that is long and delicious. Please sir! May I have another?

$125 | 5 Barrels Produced

2021 Ol' Manzana Pinot Noir | Dutton-Manzana Vineyard, Green Valley of the Russian River Valley

Variety: 100% Pinot Noir, Clone 777 and 828 | Method | 90% Pellenc Destemmed, 10% Wholecluster, 6 Day Cold Soak, 100% Carbonic Native Inoculation Open Top Fermentation, Hand Punch Down Cap Submersion, Free-Run Transfer Via Gravity Flow| Aging Regimen, 50% New French Oak, 16 Months | Clarifying Via Barrel To Tank | 6 Barrels Produced

Just when you thought this vineyard could not get any better, along comes the 2021 vintage. Clones 777 and 828 are ideal for this location just outside of Graton, a stopover town on the way to Sebastopol. We started this program with the first vintage of 2012 at just 50 cases produced. If there is one thing that we have learned from farming and producing from this vineyard over the last ten years, it is that this Pinot Noir is built to last. There is nothing in the wine world quite like an aged Pinot Noir that packs in the flavor and zest to keep you coming back for more. What sets this wine apart is its location within the Green Valley sub-appellation within the broader Russian River Valley AVA. Warm days followed by chilly nights that sweep in from the Bodega Headlands up through the Russian River and sit square over the area. Add to it Goldridge dust—that special soil only this area produces—and a southeastern facing aspect, and boom! You have the ingredients to create deliciousness in the glass.

Located in the Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley, just across Purrington Creek outside of the town of Graton, the Manzana Vineyard is planted on a gently sloped hillside composed of Goldridge soils. The name “Manzana,” Spanish for apple, honors the area’s long heritage of apple orchards. Manzana’s hillside vineyard is eastern facing, which is optimal for ripening Pinot Noir in cooler growing regions. Planted to clone Dijon 828 and Dijon 115 in 2001, this vineyard sits on a sloped foundation of Goldridge soil with ideal drainage into Purrington Creek. The vineyard is a certified Sonoma County Sustainably-Farmed and Fish-Friendly vineyard. The site produces moderately sized vines with small clusters. Cool growing conditions due to the morning fog allow the Pinot Noir to ripen slowly, developing tannic acids overtime that lead to pure balance in the fruit base. Of all of the Pinot Noirs we produce, Manzana has proven to be the Pinot Noir that will stand the test of time. Our first vintage produced from the vineyard was 2012 and has been nothing but impressive ever since. To this day, the 2012 vintage continues to be fresh, full, and alive with very little oxidation in color or body, a testament to the pedigree of the site.

Highly perfumed black cherry, cherry cola, cranberry and big red apple drive the aromatics, while the soft, floral nuances really get you interested in what comes next. Opening with strawberry compote, floral (Hibiscus), allspice, graphite, with subtle hints of dried cocoa and juniper. My goodness, this is gorgeous! Tons of red fruit, silky currants with sexy, integrated tannins. Viscosity is balanced by consistent acidity that runs through the whole palate. An ultra-long finish that coats the mouth finishing with spice and ripe, red fruit. A well-balanced approach with a very full finish. Delicious!

$95 | 6 Barrels Produced

 

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Time Posted: Nov 29, 2023 at 2:32 PM Permalink to THE FINAL ALLOCATION OF 2023: If You Choose To Go | Throw Yourself Into Your Wave Permalink
Jason Williams
 
October 2, 2023 | Jason Williams

AUTUMN 2023 | Vestiges of Belief | A Full Serving Of Lip Smacking Deliciousness

The Money Men were on site looking dreadfully serious for the occasion. One would have taken them for archly nerdy Don Draper suit-types who veer towards Thom Browne’s uniform ideals of shrunken grey suits with their high-cuff cuts were it not for the shoes and the $50,000 watches that disclosed their profession. Honestly, there is something deceivingly disarming about an unmatching, full-length sock when styled under the ankle grazers. It makes for a bit of whimsy amidst a serious brow. Like a high school band-nerd who’s earned serious, disposable financial resources who is now fortified with the attitude and protection that only wealth can secure, yet hasn’t strayed from his high-water, wedgie attracting roots. No one would dare wedgie these guys now. These dudes had the sand to back their swagger.

The power they now held over our fait de accompli, driven by our belief’s exceptional-glory premise, was palpable. These were four, power-primed executives from First Republic Bank (yes, that bank), who, upon arrival toed delicately around a mud-pocked, gravelly parking lot. Their brushed leather laced Oxfords were scuffed to ruin before the first word of our financial pitch was ever uttered.

To be honest, the winery we purchased before it became Croix Estate (the winery you know today), was in rough shape, yet it was filled with deep, personal love. It was evident – to us – that the bones of the place had been cared for and labored over – by hand – for well over a century. A classic, all-American wine production story that we now owned. Belief had led us here. And belief would take us to experiences, good and bad, as we leaned into manifest our destiny.

When we first ripped this winery apart – took it squarely down to the studs – we believed that this was the path to stating our brand, rebuilding it in our fantastic image for Croix Estate. Our demolition experience was both good and bad. Bad, because we knuckle-headed our initial building progress with the assumption that our construction was done up to county code. Good, because the big, fat, red-tag closure of the property caused us to pause our belief system for a great number of months.

The closure of construction forced us to slow down, feel the place, the history, and to find the balance within our agronomic surroundings. It allowed us to get comfortable in our new skin, to become friends with our neighbors, and develop a new set of beliefs. What became of that initial misstep was a more holistic understanding and respect for the entirety of our place within our community.

Frankly, the experience made us better people, because, prior to this development, we faced our vision in eccentric veneers of belief – some quite uncomfortable to reflect upon even now.

For example, we recall a plan to rip and replant the old-vine Zinfandel (planted in 1904) from the ground of the estate and plant it to Pinot Noir before being saved by a miracle-ripple in our destiny. (Oh, the shame of such thoughts!) We also recall elaborate wood boxes; shiny tissue-wrap paper; espresso-stained barrels; gold plated wine openers; soft, angelic acoustic guitar played over Sonos during our tastings; and unnatural brand language written in the third person that made us sound like pompous jack holes. We recall believing we would become the new cult winery – whatever the hell that means – never having to do any work to spread our gospel according to Croix Estate because we would arrive and simply be GREAT! After all, there was no space program for quitters!

And, we remember pitching our plan before the principles of First Republic Bank, painting grand visions for a luxury brand dedicated to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production. Big dreams, big bottles, big wines, big epiphanies. At the end of our big presentation, the bankers had just one question – just one: “How much lipstick are you going to have to put on this pig?”

Kind of makes you shudder, doesn’t it? It does us, even to this day.

You see, beliefs must adapt, evolve, and stand on a solid foundation of humility and gratitude because we rise, we fall, we fly, we crash, we bend, and sometimes, we break.

Bringing this Croix Estate thing into reality, holding it together, pushing through rough stuff requires more than just our beliefs. It requires that you, our core enthusiasts, believe in our work, because if we are not adapting in pursuit of our vocation with integrity…well, then...this great, big adventure is just a pretty pig and another vestige of belief.

+Speaking of pigs…and cows! Better hang on to your swim skivvies because you are about to jump into the deep end of a wonderful pool filled with a full serving of lip-smacking deliciousness. The two wines featured in our Autumn allocation are stunning renditions you will not want to miss. One named after the California wild boar, and one born from a 300-acre dairy farming family turned exceptional winegrower. With gratitude and joy for sticking with us. We sincerely appreciate everything you do to make our dreams come true.

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2021 West Pyramid Pinot Noir | Bucher Estate Vineyard, Middle Reach, Russian River Valley

Variety: 100% Pinot Noir, Pommard Clone | Method | 80% Pellenc Destemmed, 20% Wholecluster, 5 Day Cold Soak, 100% Carbonic Native Inoculation Open Top Fermentation, Hand Punch Down Cap Submersion, Free-Run Transfer Via Gravity Flow| Aging Regimen, 50% New French Oak, 16 Months | Clarifying Via Barrel To Tank | 10 Barrels Produced

The Bucher family operation is an all-American, immigrants make good on a dream through self-determination story. Joe and Annemarie immigrated from Luzern, Switzerland in 1950, settling first in San Jose with a dream of owning a dairy farm in Northern California. Born in 1929, Joe came from a family of dairy farmers in the tiny town of Inwil. With dairy farming in his blood, Joe was determined to establish his own operation to continue the family legacy in the United States. By 1958 Joe and Annemarie had located a 360-acre dairy for sale just outside the town of Healdsburg. The two invested their life savings on the purchase and began their journey with just 50 head of dairy cows and a few calves, making the decision to produce organic milk from cows raised on a strict diet of organic alfalfa and hay. This would set the bar high for parceling land from which to farm grapes. Their son John graduated from UC Davis in 1984 and returned to Healdsburg to manage the dairy operation. John recognized an opportunity to diversify their land with a high value crop in vitis vinifera, in particular, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Convincing his parents of the decision to branch into the winegowing business, the first vineyard blocks of Pinot Noir were planted in 1997.

Located adjacent to Bucher Farms on Westside Road, in the heart of the Middle Reach of the Russian River Valley AVA, Buchar Vineyards consists of 38 sustainably farmed acres, two of which are planted to Chardonnay. The 36 acres of Pinot Noir are broken into 14 distinct blocks, utilizing 10 distinct clones: Opa’s (943, Mariafeld, Calera), Rock Ridge (Pommard), Saddle (Swan), West Pyramid (Pommard), North Pyramid (Pommard), Pear Tree (Dijon 667), South Hill (Dijon 115, Mt. Eden), Frost Hill West (Mt. Eden), Frost Hill East (Mt. Eden), North L (Dijon 777), Torry’s (Pommard), Raspbery (Pommard), House (Dijon 115), and South L (777).

An exotic, perfumed, yet masculine aromatic mix of honeysuckle, charred meats, bacon fat, orange rinds, and Morell mushrooms leads the way to light herbal scents of earl grey tea, lavender, sweet stone fruits and a dash of cayenne pepper. Wow, this wine grips your attention. Big, luscious dark fruit with forward tannins leads into fleshy plum, crushed red delicious apple, cherry syrup, subtle notes of fresh straw complimented by structured acidity and an exceptionally long finish. Simply stunning!

$68 | 10 Barrels Produced

2021 La Cinghiale GSM Red Blend | Kick Ranch Vineyard, Fountain Grove, Sonoma County

Variety: 59% Syrah, 23% Grenache, 18% Mourvedre | Method | Open Top Fermentation, 11-Day Cold Soak, 100% Carbonic Maceration With Hand Punch-Downs, Free-Run Transfer Via Gravity Flow To French Oak, Utilizing 100% Native Yeast Primary and Secondary Fermentations. Aging Regimen | 60% New French Oak, 18 Months | 10 Barrels Produced

Small lot Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and the blended GSM captured our hearts decades ago coming up in the industry. Grown to perfection and in the right locations, there was magic in the bottle of these off-variety productions that offered a range of styles from quaffable, aromatic beauties to hedonistic ink bombs that everyone seemed to pan at our wine parties, despite not a drop being spared in the bottles of the heartier efforts. It was, particularly during the late 1990’s, with Zinfandel and GSM productions that we witnessed a cultural shift in production from lower alcohol wines to more fruit forward, fully-ripened renditions. While we find great pleasure in debating the attributes of both style preferences, there is an argument to be established in any Northern California, wine-country tasting room that California began to define itself outside of traditional French-based winemaking practices during this period, and much to the flavorful benefit of the consuming public. That’s where we come in with our version of GSM. Croix Estate enthusiasts have come to recognize that we are not shy about growing fruit to its optimal ripeness. However, where there is ripeness, there is balance and harmony, and our Croix Estate 2021 La Cinghiale GSM Red Blend is no exception on both fronts.

To the Northwest of Cazadero Station lies a hidden foot trail that leads backcountry hikers on what is perhaps the most breathtaking, yet dangerous, treks out to the Annapolis ridgeline overlooking the coast at Stuart’s Point. Experienced hunters say the wild boar is more dangerous to hunt than most animals. Weighing in at 600+ pounds at full maturity, the males are territorial of all intruders and the females violently protective of their young. To the casual hiker, approaching the Kings Ridge section of the hike requires a soft shoe and keen hearing, lest you encounter the ferocity of these feral beasts. The boar was not indigenous to California, yet it has managed to survive and thrive untamed in the densely wooded, northern regions of the state. A testament to the strength and character of the species.

Ripe, blackberry and rhubarb pie notes cascade into zesty, crushed pomegranate curd, toasted oak char, white smoke, black pepper, dense red berry fruit and Cape jasmine waft from the glass drawing one’s curiosity. And that is just on the nose! The palate is rich and spectacular, revealing flavors of ripe black plum, blackberry, sweet cassis, with hints of black pepper, espresso and semi-sweet cocoa. The finish is lengthy and viscous with vibrant acidity adding substantial length to the session. Do not miss this wine

$60 | 10 Barrels Produced

 

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Time Posted: Oct 2, 2023 at 10:08 PM Permalink to AUTUMN 2023 | Vestiges of Belief | A Full Serving Of Lip Smacking Deliciousness Permalink
Jason Williams
 
March 31, 2023 | Jason Williams

SPRING 2023 | Puncture The Rhythm Of Life | Our Third-Annual Bread & Butter Allocation

If I were you, I would better watch out! For what’s to come will rupture your daily rhythm.

Know this, friends, we just cannot stop loving brilliant, talent-laden, overproducing human beings. They are rare, gifted crutch-sticks and inspirational trap-boxes that convince us to believe that we can too!

If you have ever had the pleasure of witnessing Jane’s Addiction live in concert (on your preferred, spiritual enhancing stimulant of choice, of course) overtime, one comes to appreciate the beat-Jedi found at the back of the stage that is Stephen Andrew Perkins. A master wizard in the utilization of the drum kit as an existential voice in the rock-band chorus. Man, his moxy is a powerful tempo that punctures the rhythm of life.

Now listen, you Jazz/Latin/Reggae nerds, don’t get all caught up in technical superiority arguments against rock drums within the instrumental genre. We know your opinions and respect them. Just do us a favor you beautiful sophists: take off that Canali coat and tie, kick off those gorgeous Bottega Veneta’s, roll your home-grown spliff, and grab a killer glass of Croix Pinot Noir, and hear us out.

Let’s strip this down to a pocket kit here. A beat is just a beat without its mathematical cadence. On its own, the snare is just a crack, a crack, a crack. On its own, a 10” hanging rack tom is just a bong, a bong, a bong. On its own, a 14” floor tom is just a boom, a boom, a boom. On its own, a bass drum is just a thump, a thump, a thump. But when you start mixing things together, the rendering becomes reality: Crack(d)crack-thu-thump-thump. (d)bonga(d)bonga(d)boom-thu-thump-thump. Crack(d)crack(d)crack-thu-thump-thump. (d)bonga-thu-thump(d)bonga(d)boom-thu-thump-thump. Crack(d)crack-thu-thump-thump. (d)booma(d)crack(d)booma-thump-thump. (d)booma(d)crack-(d)bonga-thu-thump-thump. (d)bonga(d)bonga(d)boom-thu-thump-thump. Feel that? If not, take another drink of that Pinot and know this: you just punctured the rhythm of thought. Seriously. You just stopped and worked that beat. In your head. If you are on your second bottle of Pinot, you may have heard it audibly. Maybe you felt it. Real drummers don’t get technical. Let it flow, please.

Now let’s come down the mountain and step into the point of this rhythm thing. The act of picking up a stick and racking it against anything available that makes sound is to puncture the momentum of mediocrity for this simple reason: in that moment, a choice is made to stand up, grab a tool, and strike an instrument, to puncture the static rhythm of life as it occurs day-in and day-out. Just imagine how liberating it felt to Stephen Perkins when that light went on. Hell, listen to the guy speak about his love for his art, and you know that guy is locked in. Standing in rare air and breathing it all in. A master of his craft. What a beautiful reflection.

Precisely five years ago, we opened our winery doors to visitation after six years of pushing our craft story the hard, lonesome way – one wholesale account at a time. Simply opening the doors to our new winery home was our taking our stick and racking it against an object. Over time we came to realize, we needed to make more wine. (crack(d)crack-thu-thump-thump) We not only needed to make more wine, we needed to make wine for the everyday table. (crack-thu-thump(d)crack-thu-thump-thump) We not only needed to make wine for the table, we needed to make it freakin’ crazy delicious awesome! ((d)booma(d)crack(d)crack(d)thu-thump-thump) Finally, we not only needed to make awesome everyday wine, we needed to allocate all that wine annually and give that allocation a name: Bread & Butter.  ((d)bonga(d)thump-(d)bonga(d)boom) That annual allocation event is now in its third year. (thump(d)crack(d)crack-crack-SPLASH) Drop the sticks.

Friends, this is our most anticipated allocation of the year and for so many good reasons. Chief among them is the composition of our kit-set of wines hailing from the 2021 and 2022 vintages. Our goal here is to provide you with guilt-free consumption – that feeling you get when you know you are opening something killer and you don’t think twice about what it cost. This is pure, pleasurable, perfection in your glass.

Acquire Your Allocation Here

2021 "1904 Estate" Zinfandel | Croix Estate Vineyard, Russian River Valley

Varieties 90% Old-Vine, Estate Zinfandel, 10% Alicante Bouchet | Method: 100% Pellenc destemmed, 50% Stainless, 50% Open Top, 100% Native Primary & Secondary, 65% New American Oak, Unfiltered.

You have been calling and waiting, calling and waiting, and waiting some more, as the last vintage of our Estate Zinfandel sold out in record time. Well, guess what? If you don’t pick this up now, you may miss your chance to secure an allotment from the spectacular 2021 vintage. If you remember the 2017 vintage of this wine, lookout! The 2021 is humping some serious weight. We will step up and state that this is one of the best renditions we have produced from our estate vineyard. Hands down. Our Croix Estate Vineyard Zinfandel is a heritage vineyard site. Planted in 1904, the original vineyard comprised of 39 acres planted in sections to Zinfandel, Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, Petite Sirah, and Mataro. Today, the vineyard consists of 10 acres of 90% Zinfandel and 10% Alicante Bouchet. Are you a fan of ultra-ripe, jammy Zins with zesty acid and a serious amount of viscosity? This wine is for you. Stunning aromatics, this wine pulls you in with sweet black cherry, ripe boysenberry, blueberry jam and wafting blooms of honeysuckle. Jet black, glass-sheeting ink indicate that you better have a toothbrush and some whitener handy. A liquid silk mouthfeel is full of luscious harmony featuring star anise, lavender honey, black plum, blackberries, concentrated red currants and a ripe, savory finish. Goodness, this wine is delicious!

$50 | 16 Barrels Produced

2021 Floodgate Pinot Noir | The Middle Reach, Russian River Valley

The Vineyards: 33% Starscape (Floodgate) Vineyard | 32% Ritchie Vineyard |21% Bucher Vineyard | 12% Bacigalupi Vineyard | 1% 5 Wells Vineyard | 1% Ruxton Vineyard |Pinot Noir Clones: Dijon 667, Dijon 777, 828, Pommard, Vosne-Romanee, & Wente | Method: 90% Pellenc destemmed, 10% Wholecluster, 5 Day Cold Soak, 100% Carbonic Native Inoculation, Hand Punch Down Cap Submersions, 45% New French Oak, 16 Months. Unfiltered.

IT’S BACK! How can you walk away from a wine that lifts everyone’s spirits? You don’t! What you do is you go back to the drawing board and you make it substantially better. That is precisely what we have done with the 2021 vintage of Floodgate Pinot Noir. Fans of ripe, full-bodied styles will absolutely love what this wine has to offer. Spicy aromas of cinnamon, cardamom, and anise mingle with dark cherry perfume, cola, sweet smoked tobacco leaf, and toasted vanillin. Rich and viscous on the palate, this wine has substantial glide featuring dark black cherry, savory caramel, black plum pie, supported with balanced acidity to lift the wine into a harmonious balance of rich and racy. Look for this delicious Pinot to put on more mid-palate weight over the next three years.

$68 | 17 Barrels Produced

 

2021 Narrow Gauge Chardonnay | Russian River Valley

The Vineyards: Starscape Vineyard | Ritchie Vineyard | Dutton-Morelli Lane Vineyard | Richard Dinner Vineyard | Bacigalupi Vineyard | Chardonnay Clones: Old Wente, Dijon 76, Clone 4 | Method: Whole Cluster Press Into 50% Neutral, 50% New French Oak, 100% Native Primary & Secondary Fermentation, 9 Months Sur Lie, Rack & Return Aging Total 16 Months, Unfiltered.

Please sir, may I have another! My goodness this wine absolutely over delivers. Another rockstar effort is coming to you and one that you do not want to miss. This is an everyday drinking gem that is stylish, perfectly balanced, and kissed by wine angels. A compilation of big-name vineyards tick-and-tie together like a finely woven blanket bringing quality up more than a few notches. This wine is full and expansive, yet bright and refreshing, producing a balanced, nuanced Chardonnay. Opening with a bouquet of raw honey, marmalade, fresh citrus zest, toasted pine nuts, rocky flints, allspice, toasted oak and lusciousness on the nose that is very inviting. Island ripe pineapple, Honeycrisp apples, stone fruit, and sweet pear leave the mouth watering in a cascade of pleasure. Take this wine to any spring or summer party and you will be an instant wine hero.

$50 | 15 Barrels Produced

2022 Fenceline Sauvignon Blanc | Croix Estate Vineyard, Russian River Valley

Sauvignon Blanc Clones: 100% Sauvignon Musqué | Method: Wholecluster Direct Press Into Neutral French Oak, Native Primary & Secondary Fermentation, Unfiltered.

A super-sexy, summer-sipping dream, our Estate SB is extremely limited in production with a cult following. As we always explain, just two rows exist on our estate, so delightful surprises in small batches continue to impress us from this sliver of vines. Enticing aromas of highly perfumed Amalfi lemons and citrus blossom mingle in with fresh wheat grass, white rose, honeysuckle and gardenia. On the palate, honey infused sweet pink grapefruit, base minerality, and Meyer lemon rind are delicately balanced with bright acidity, creamy nuances, and a touch of barrel vanillin, creating a wonderful textural experience. This wine is lovely, fun, and vibrant. Pack this in a bucket of ice next to the pool and bring a fresh blast of joy into your summer day!

$44 | 5 Barrels Produced

2022 Ruxton Sands Rose' | Ruxton Vineyard, Occidental Cordillera, West Sonoma Coast

Variety: 100% Pinot Noir | Method: Wholecluster Direct Press Into Neutral French Oak, Native Primary & Secondary Fermentation, Unfiltered.

Just down the way from Morelli Lane Vineyard, off of Stoetz Lane, and not so far from Camp Meeker, lies the Ruxton Vineyard.Sitting at 800 feet of elevation in the heart of the Occidental Cordillera of the Russian River Valley appellation, we choose a direct pick and press method when producing our Rosé. Opening with a balanced temperament of verve and ripe fruit, set against a backdrop of light pink salmon color. Aromas of fresh strawberries, pressed sweet Meyer lemon, and hints of honeysuckle draw you in with curiosity. The palate is focused with refreshing and savory acid, raspberries and cola, with a finish that lasts for several minutes.

$33 | 10 Barrels Produced

Acquire Your Allocation Here

Time Posted: Mar 31, 2023 at 8:04 AM Permalink to SPRING 2023 | Puncture The Rhythm Of Life | Our Third-Annual Bread & Butter Allocation Permalink
Jason Williams
 
February 1, 2023 | Jason Williams

WINTER 2023 | Free Solo - Ultimate Freedom & Consequence | Single Vineyard Renditions Not To Miss

It was an untimely moment in the short life of a free spirit. An avalanche of powdered ice tore from the mountainside, burying all but the descending rope strand connecting alpinist to alpinist. An ironic passage  given both climbers’ propensity to go it alone in the most demanding of alpinist pursuits. This would become a fateful and final position in the foothold of two lives at the cutting edge of their pursuit. To experience the soul at its most pure, undiluted existence is to know the meaning of desire. That thing that makes the pulse quicken. It steals your breath. Lightens your head. Gives pause to reflection upon the notion of having travelled through a quantum passage long before the existence of the moment.

The purity of free solo is found in its isolation, where the focus becomes singular. One is performing a work in self-reliance as there is no rescue from mistake. It is the ultimate freedom and consequence. We can debate the ethics behind the confidence to put down a perfect solo climb. Perhaps such singular focus is at its base a narcissistic pursuit. How many times have visionaries been shunned by the uncomprehending as egocentric? To witness, film, or publicly log such individual pursuits—is this to promote reckless acts?

Be honest with yourselves, you who are among the over achievers. How many times have you ruminated upon the affliction of being driven to perfection? We can attest as winemakers to many hours given to intro-spection whereby we step back and ask, “Who the f*&% do we think we are?” If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of Deepak Chopra’s enlightenment retreats, we say lean into it. He often begins with a shared meditation whereby one is asked by the person sitting adjacent to them, “Who are you?” This goes on within the vulnerability crucible for what seems a lifetime. With each passing repetition upon the question, one becomes acutely aware the shallow veneer that belies a truth within us. Who we are.

You will often hear us speak of our work in the wine business as one of vocation. Becoming a viticulturalist, winemaker, business manager, a proselytizer of profession was never a question. We were just pulled into it.

To make wine is to work. To make wine a work of art is to experience the significance of hard work. It
requires a singular focus upon what you believe your destination in perfection to be. To call that thing forth from desire—now that is knowing oneself, as it is here one will not find rescue from mistake.
We don’t care how many times we hear, no thank you, I don’t like Chardonnay. Our response will always be, have you tasted our Chardonnay? You see, Chardonnay is essentially a flavorless grape.

Were it not for the minds of elite growers and talented winemakers, the variety could—arguably—barely be considered noble without purposeful intervention. And, it is here that we find connection of singular focus and the perils in pursuit of perfection. So powerful is our compulsion that we simply refuse to believe you would not want to engage in the celebration of our creation. Especially when it comes to Chardonnay.

Kind of egocentric when you think about it. Right?

Consequence be damned, it sure feels great to put down an example of our vision for perfection in the glass.

Acquire Your Allocation Here

2021 Richard Dinner Chardonnay | Richard Dinner Vineyard, Sonoma Mountain

We weren’t crazy about the first vintage production of this wine. It seemed as though it fell out-of-boundary of scope as it related to our vision for producing West Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley Chardonnay. But leave to the coastal gods to teach us a thing or to about the long arm of coastal influence deep into the reaches of Sonoma County. Sitting at a peak elevation of plus 2,000 feet, facing west to the pacific ocean, directionally speaking, this vineyard lies at the target point of a roundhouse kick to the face of narrow-minded denialism. Those familiar with the Petaluma Gap AVA know that late afternoon breezes can quickly turn to brisk fog-outs that blanket fast swaths of square mileage and Sonoma Mountain lies in its direct path. Few Sonoma County wine regions are so singularly defined by elevation, exposure, and geographical fea- tures as the Sonoma Mountain American Viticulture Area (AVA). The appellation covers the hills east of Sonoma Valley with the Richard Dinner Vineyard planted to Old Wente clone in 1986. Combine soil and micro-climate diurnal temperature variation, organic viticultural practices, a deft hand at coaxing the finer nuances in naturally produced Chardonnay, and you have the recipe for producing perfection in the glass.
The 2021 vintage is a stunning, complex Chardonnay. Notes of tropical flower oil, sweet citrus, refreshing lemon zest, and toasted spices bring forth aromatic bliss. Rich and full-bodied, yet deftly balanced with cleansing acidity, caramel and rum cream that lead to a savory and delicious
balance of ripe pear, charred crème brûlée, and a bright, mouthwatering finish.

$75 | 6 Barrels Produced

2021 12 Rows Chardonnay | Ritchie Vineyard, Middle Reach, Russian River Valley

Many consider this to be one of the greatest Chardonnay vineyards in the new world. Let that sit with you for a moment as you sip and savor the wine in your glass. We find it all too easy to become jaded with our proximity to greatness within our industry. Or, perhaps it is just that the growers we surround ourselves with are just regular, old farmers. Down-to-earth stewards enraptured by a vocation that compels them to work their land. Humility in the face of such admiration is so very refreshing and reminds us that our daily bread is earned, one vintage at a time. All other conditions are unnecessary noise. Let us distill it in this way: we are blessed to be a part of Kent Ritchie’s greatness.

There’s nothing like the smell of an ultraripe, white peach tree just before harvest and this Chardonnay emotes that memory, letting you know with one sniff that pure greatness is at hand. This wine opens with seductive notes of honeyed toast, vanilla crème brûlée and caramelized brown sugar causing the mouth to water with anticipation. The balance of creamy richness and racy delicacy showcases a deft hand in the making of this wine. Lemon curd, loads of white peaches and grapefruit are topped with whipped cream and crisp, honey-baked green apples. Pure perfection in the glass!

$75 | 7 Barrels Produced

 

2021 Starlings’ Roost Chardonnay | Dutton-Morelli Lane Vineyard, Green Valley, West Sonoma Coast

2012 was the year that Croix manifest as a reality, as the first two barrels of Dutton-Morelli Lane Vineyard Chardonnay were put to rest in the cellar. We were enraptured by this site’s history, location, and the deafening cacophony emanating from thousands of roosting Starlings. Positioned within the Occidental Cordillera, this is home to hallowed earth, revered by many a talented winemaker. Planted in the late 1890’s, it is a temperate vineyard location sitting above the fog line, subject to piercing, midday sunshine, deceiving its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. In our quest to produce Chardonnay that will age for a decade or longer, our production of Starlings’ Roost Chardonnay has proven our postulations regarding lengthening the varietal lifespan.

Honeyed Earl Grey tea, Meyer lemon curd and scents of lightly toasted pine nuts bring us back to the founding vintage of this wine. Sweet pink grapefruit, ripe Gravenstein apples balance sweet and tart to perfection, leading to a round, lengthy finish of Hawaiian pineapple, cinnamon, cloves and a dash of toasty vanillin. Medium bodied, yet light on the palate without the cloying viscosity often found in Chardonnay. Another glass please!

$75 | 6 Barrels Produced

Acquire Your Allocation Here

 

Time Posted: Feb 1, 2023 at 6:00 AM Permalink to WINTER 2023 | Free Solo - Ultimate Freedom & Consequence | Single Vineyard Renditions Not To Miss Permalink
Jason Williams
 
November 16, 2022 | Jason Williams

FALL 2022 | Scuba Diving Drunk & The Allocation of 2019 King's Ridge Pinot Noir

Whispering shadows clung to the walls like twisted cypress on a rugged, cold coast. It was 3:30 am. The arctic sun was in full attention and without warmth. The fire had gone out in a northern, Nordland County cabin. No heating. No electricity. No running water. A different culture had taken over the decision-making process of what was safe. The men here are thoroughbreds – narcissist wunderkind, watermen, hardened sailors of unforgiving seas – and focused on making one last push into the water. They were also determined to finish initiating the visiting American. “Våkn opp!! Now is time we fish. But first we dive Saltstraumen!” Dry suits, weight belts, air tanks, and thickened snow boots raked across an icy single-track trail. Our breath was blurry, viscous, and laden with the prior evening’s drunken, aquavit laden tussle. The diving watch didn’t lie – two hours of sleep. There was no way we were sober. This was not safe. This was not sound. This was an insane right of passage.

Ask any Dive Master, “What’s the most dangerous form of scuba diving one can do?” “Scuba diving drunk.” Even slightly intoxicated diving can be deadly. It is grounds for disqualification among your diving group. An expulsion off the boat for irresponsible, unserious adherence to safety.

Scuba diving the Saltstraumen in Norway – in any condition - is the temptation of fate not to be taken without serious, sober consideration. Yet, those born with an innate, ambitious drive know all too well that logic often falls to emotion when called to rise in the moment. We assume we can handle it.

Fact is, intelligent people behave dumbly when challenged. And, so it is here at Croix Estate. Intelligent, insightful, earnest people who exhibit just enough moxy to get sucked into the vortex of pursuing perfection.

10 years ago we started this Croix Estate thing with fifty cases of Chardonnay and fifty cases of Pinot Noir. Russian River Valley would be our focus in a heady pursuit. Look at us now. Rowing deeper into the dark, brooding waters, falling to the Sirens on the rocky shoreline of Coastal Pinot Noir. For goodness sakes, what are we thinking?

We remember what we used to say about coastal Pinot Noir. “Yummy!! Super-sour cherry pie. How many scoops of sugared cream would you like with that to make it palatable?” But here we are. We have cleansed our faces of many eggs, my friends. We are pushing deeper into our destiny, and it now includes the northern reaches of California.

It begins here, with the allocation of 2019 Kings Ridge Pinot Noir from the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. This is rugged, beautiful country folks. A supreme location where we intend to wrest pure, ripe, balanced and pleasurable mountain Pinot Noir from the rugged soil in which it is grown.

This is risky business. Våkn opp!! Now is time to fish. But first we dive Saltstraumen!

Debut Vintage - Croix 2019 Kings Ridge Pinot Noir | Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast | Acquire Your Allocation Here

In Burgundy, France, the highest level of vineyard classification is Grand Cru, or those appellations that are considered the elite within the growing region. While California does not have such a classification system, if ever there were an “elite” vineyard classification system within the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations, Cinghiale Vineyard would sit squarely within this classification. Purchased by Dave Del Dotto in 2005, the “Cinghiale” (Italian for wild boar) Vineyard is named for the frequent inhabitants of the property.

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it consists of 359 acres at the top of Kings Ridge in the Fort Ross-Seaview appellation, and is planted with 43 acres of Pinot Noir, with remaining parts Syrah, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. It features a broad diversity of Pinot Noir clones with lineages hailing from the top vineyards in Burgundy, as well as select top-rated clones from its neighbors in California.

Located in the coastal hills above Fort Ross State Historic Park, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Fort-Ross Seaview is one of Sonoma County’s most distinctive AVAs in our opinion. Carved out of the larger Sonoma Coast AVA in 2011, the 27,500-acre Fort Ross-Seaview AVA was given special consideration for its soaring elevation and remote, rugged location, where its current 500 vineyard acres produce some of Sonoma County's most sought-after Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The area bears significant historical weight as it was here that Sonoma County's first winegrapes were planted in 1817 at the fur-trading Russian-American Company's outpost at Fort Ross.

The area's modern viticultural history didn't begin until 1973, though, when sheep rancher Mick Bohan, struggling with low wool prices, planted Riesling as a cash crop. Today, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay plantings dominate the AVA. To understand Fort Ross-Seaview, picture a vineyard on the crown of a coastal ridge, surrounded by a sea of fog. Although the AVA is located just a few miles from cold Pacific Ocean waters, between Jenner and The Sea Ranch, it is also significantly defined by its higher elevation. In the summer, vineyards bask in warm sunlight, sitting above the damp belt of fog that invades the Petaluma Gap and Russian River Valley. Fort Ross-Seaview is an essentially chilly climate on the edge of grape-growing possibility, yet, at times, may receive more sunlight than areas like Green Valley of the Russian River Valley, which is defined by immersion in fog. For this reason, we feel confident that to not establish a winegrowing front in this emerging region is to miss the opportunity to produce Pinot Noir from what will no doubt become California’s premier winegrowing region for Pinot Noir.

We pick from two distinct blocks within the Cinghiale Vineyard where Pinot Noir clones 777 and 828 comprise the blocks. Clone 777 is built to age, with dense, complex, highly structured tannins, complemented by exotic spice aromas, black cherry and cassis flavors with silky texture. Clone 828 has elegant, structured tannins with balanced acidity and brooding dark fruit. Fermenting the two blocks separately provides an ideal opportunity to blend the final output to balanced perfection.

WINEMAKER’S Record
Among our most substantial, complex wines within our mix of single-vineyard Pinot Noirs, this wine is a rare beauty. Raw honey and crème de cassis hit the senses, quickly leading to licorice, black cherries, sweet tobacco leaf, blue herbs, cream soda, cardamom and coconut. On the palate this wine is massive and full-bodied with blueberry compote, candied raspberries, plum concentrate, bittersweet
cocoa and crushed espresso bean, with mouthwatering acidity and a perpetual finish. Delicious!

Degrees Picked: Pinot Noir Clone 777—26.2 | Pinot Noir Clone 828—24.4
Method | Pellenc Destemmed, 5 Day Cold Soak, 10% Wholecluster (Clone 828) 20% Wholecluster (Clone 777) 100% Carbonic Native & D254 Inoculation, Open Top Fermentation With Cap Submersion (Clone 777) and Hand Punch Down (Clone 828)
Aging | 16 Months, 50% New French Oak
Production | 7 Barrels
Clarifying | Barrel To Tank, Bottled Unfiltered

List Price—$95 |

Time Posted: Nov 16, 2022 at 7:08 AM Permalink to FALL 2022 | Scuba Diving Drunk & The Allocation of 2019 King's Ridge Pinot Noir Permalink
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