Tasting Room

Our current releases include wines that we believe are ready to enjoy now, and yet will continue to gain complexity with cellaring.

The wines are released to the mailing list twice each year. You are invited to join the mailing list to ensure early notification of new releases.


2011 Pinot Noir, Cargasacchi Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills

2011 Pinot Noir, Cargasacchi-Jalama Vineyard, Santa Barbara County

2010 Invincible Sun Cargasacchi-Jalama Vineyard, Santa Barbara County

Vintage Notes

2011 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills

The wine is made with 100% Dijon clone 115, the most widely planted scion selection in Burgundy, France. (Origin, Morey St. Denis.) The 115 scion was grafted onto two rootstocks with distinctively different influences. The first, 3309 Couderc, is deep rooting but with poor tolerance for limestone tending to influence for darker, earthier and more tannic wine character. The other rootstock selection, 420a, is limestone tolerant but extremely low vigor due to the effect of a shallow rooting nature and tends to ripen earlier and to influence for fruitier wine character. As planted, both rootstocks devigorate and decrease cluster and berry size. Cargasacchi vineyard soils are shallow, calcareous and extremely high in free lime. Trellis is VSP (vertical shoot position.).

The saturated purple hue is opaque with distinctive pinot noir perfume of red and purple berries and violets. In the mouth this is a luscious, richly textured wine that balances fruit, hints of soy, spice and tannin. Exhibiting layers of blackberry and small dark fruit flavors woven with firm, ripe, tannins for a fruit driven, persistent, mouthwatering finish.

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2011 Cargasacchi-Jalama Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County (375ml)

Cargasacchi-Jalama vineyard is vertically shoot positioned and is planted to four clones. Two are Dijon clones 114 and 115, whose origins are Morey St. Denis in Burgundy France. The blend also includes a loose clustered California heritage Pinot Noir clone that many believe was originally brought to the new world by Pierre Pelliere ‘round the horn by sailing ship from Vosne-Romanee, Burgundy in 1848.  This particular clone/selection is known by many names including Mt. Eden, Martin Ray and Paul Masson, to name but a few, (some of which are claimed to be proprietary.) The fourth clonal selection, while more recently introduced to California, is best described as an enigma? Originally alleged to derive from a Saône-et-loire selection, that claim was disproved by vine morphology, but was then asserted to have been selected from a hallowed Vosne-Romanee site. It produces darkly colored and tannic juice, with strong blackberry flavor and aromas.

Brooding but approachable with spicy cherry, violets and loamy earth on the nose. In the mouth the wine has a bright and supple texture that is followed by flavors of crushed raspberry and darker fruits, with smoky blackberry flavors, mineral and subtle hints of mocha toastiness. Soft, fine-grained tannins lead to a lengthy, clean finish.

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2010 Invincible Sun Late Harvest Pinot Grigio, Santa Barbara County

The Pinot Grigio grapes for the Invincible Sun are allowed to ripen to the maximum physiological ripeness and concentration that the vine and given weather conditions are able to produce. At maximum natural ripeness, the arm, where the trunk emanates from the head of the vine, is cut. At that time all leaves in the fruiting zone surrounding the grape clusters are removed to expose the fruit to direct sunlight from early morning until sunset. After an additional 2-3 weeks of hang time, the dehydrating fruit is harvested at an extremely ripe state without botrytis and without any mold. This wine is not produced every year, with onshore weather occasionally causing wet rot and loss of crop. Only the perfect and unblemished fruit is picked. It is picked cold, and then pressed and fermented in neutral barrels.

Our typical, bright, clean and aromatic expression of the Pinot Grigio grape varietal, but in 2010 with hints of petrol, white fruit pit and nutmeg. Honeysuckle, ripe pit fruit and marmalade on the nose. Similar to previous vintages the wine is succulent, with juicy rich flavors but not cloying. Concentrated with honeycomb, ripe apricot, mango and subtle toffee, almost caramelly(?) notes. The 2010 Invincible Sun is ripe and possesses a long clean finish. It is perfect with many cheeses.

*This wine is not filtered and has some sediment. It settles out cleanly after a day or two standing the bottle upright.

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Vintage Notes
2010 Vintage

The 2010 Vintage was punctuated by several heat spikes that began at veraison and affected fruit that was not protected directly by leaf coverage and the vine canopy. In some vines even protected fruit withered on the vine and was lost. On north-south oriented rows at flowering we typically leaf pull the morning side in order to get cooler morning sun on the grape skin, reducing green flavors and increasing skin thickness. But with the heat spike that “normal” level of leaf pulling left the fruit overly exposed in September’s heat spikes. As a result, the vines received morning sun until near midday. To protect the fruit on the north south oriented rows we reacted by repositioning the upper canopy wires at the top of the trellis and pushed the wire over and behind the canes, where they exit the trellis. By leaning the canes toward the east, this created more shade on the fruit and limited the late morning sunlight from striking the fruit.

2010 followed three previous drought years with 29 inches of rainfall that was equivalent to the total for the three previous years combined. (Historic average rainfall is circa 14 inches per year.) The vines started the season with abundant moisture but ended the season with depleted soil moisture through using the cover crops and frequent high mowing before seeds formed. This kept the cover crop in a vegetative phase to evapo-transpirate water out of the soils and helped control vine vigor. The retained cover crop also helped to lower vineyard temperatures during the heat spikes by insulating the soil from absorbing solar energy, and minimized the conduction, storage and radiation of heat energy as compared to clean tilled exposed mineral soil.


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