We are extra pumped to have made it into Jon Bonne's highly acclaimed book on the new generation of California winemakers. It is an honor to be included with this bunch.
From Random House/Ten Speed Press:
"A comprehensive guide to the must-know wines and producers of California's "new generation," and the story of the iconoclastic young winemakers who have changed the face of California viniculture in recent years.
The New California Wine is the untold story of the California wine industry: the young, innovative producers who are rewriting the rules of contemporary winemaking; their quest to express the uniqueness of California terroir; and the continuing battle to move the state away from the overly-technocratic, reactionary practices of its recent past. Jon Bonné writes from the front lines of the California wine revolution, where he has access to the stories, philosophies, and techniques of top producers.
In this groundbreaking debut, Bonné paints an unflinching portrait of the current state of the industry: its strengths and shortcomings, its essential wines and those not worth pursuing. Lush full-color photographs, as well as a region-by-region tour of some of California’s lesser-known growing areas, reveal the people and places behind the bottles. Finally, a comprehensive purchasing reference lists all the must-know producers and their best wines, making The New California Wine an essential resource for finding and buying the very best the state has to offer.
Order a copy HERE
This just off the wire.......
ZEPALTAS Rosé California 2012 Score: 88
"Delicate and quite lovely, with floral strawberry aromas that lead to crisp stone fruit and citrus flavors. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Pinot Noir. Drink now."
307 cases made. —T.F.
Next Friday we head over to Tokyo, Japan for a week of promoting and meeting our customers in Japan. We have a large following in Japan, and it will be great to connect with everyone in person finally. These posters were designed by Henry Owings of Chunklet Graphic Control, and printed by my friends at Who Made Who in Minneapolis, MN. They will be given out as gifts to the attendees at each of the dinners that we are hosting. Only 150 were made! So excited for this trip. I have seen the menus, and they are sure to be mind blowing!
2008 La Cruz Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
From the beginning, it has been our goal here at Zepaltas Wines to produce wines that improve with age, and have some staying power. Now that we have over 9 vintages under our belt, we are starting to look back at some of our past releases to see how they are aging, and passing our thoughts on to you. Hopefully, it will help you out in deciding whether to drink or hold any Zepaltas wines that occupy your cellar.
Today, we popped open the 2008 La Cruz Pinot from the famed/nightmare “Fire and Ice” vintage. The spring of 08 was a cold one, and the frost damage wiped out huge portions of the crops in many Sonoma County vineyards. Later in the growing season, Northern California was hit with wildfires that caused smoke to linger in the air for a few weeks. Many growers & producers were affected by this smoke damage. The vintage produced many undrinkable wines. Some wineries lost entire vintages while others embraced it and did their best. At the time, we felt that we were lucky to not have any damage in our vineyards, but it always remained in the back of our head that someday “smoke taint” could appear in our wines. We are happy to say that the La Cruz Vineyard remains clean in that department.
Here are our current tasting notes:
Still fresh and bright on the palate though a bit of heat is starting to show through, primary fruit has begun to fade. Mushroom, currant & chili aromas dominate the nose. Fans of the secondary aroma and flavor development in Pinot Noir will enjoy this. Tannins are still there, but softened.
It is fun to look back at the notes at the time of release (Sept. 2009) and see how they compare:
“On the nose we get deep aromatics: curry, Chinese 5 spice, earth and a touch of candied fruit (almost like a Grenache from the South of France in a strange way.) There is some good grip in the blend this year due to the whole clusters that we used in the ferments this year, and it helps augment the fruit character.”
Overall, for a tough vintage we think that this wine has aged ok, but definitely not going to keep getting better. We suggest drinking this within the next 12 months, and with food to help balance the alcohol that is starting to show. Its showing solid, clean but probably won’t be the most memorable wine.