Here is our current range of wines with the most recent vintage profiled. Inquire about availability of library wines.
2014 California Rosé of Pinot Noir
Our Rosé has built up a loyal following since our first bottling in 2007. Since then, our goal has been to make a wine that is perfect for the warmer months, in the spirit of wines from the South of France. Rosé is incredibly versatile when it comes to matching with foods. It can go just fine with lighter fare, but can certainly compliment more hefty dishes like grilled steaks or pizza.
In 2014, we harvested 2 tons of Pinot Noir specifically to make this wine. Upon arrival to the winery, the grapes were destemmed and then cold soaked for 8 hours. Then we pressed the fruit directly to neutral barrels for fermentation. After fermentation, the wine was racked off of the gross lees, blended with its siblings and put back into barriques where the wine was aged for 4 months. Prior to bottling we blended in a barrels of saignée from our single vineyard Pinot Noirs. The 2014 is 100% Pinot Noir.
The nose shows scents of mint, citrus, strawberry and wet stones. The palate is crisp and refreshing, with a chalky finish. This wine is ready to accompany you on your warm weather missions (or start drinking it now-rosé knows no seasons!)
$17 per bottle // 150 cases made // 13.5% alcohol // 4 months in neutral oak barriques //100% Pinot Noir //Limit 12
2014 Lake County Sauvignon Blanc
The Lake County appellation is in a mountainous region that sits at 1,400 ft. above sea level. The air is dry, the days are warm and the nights are cool. The sole source for this wine, Springer Vineyard is located in the Big Valley section of the Lake County AVA.
With the other half of the fruit, we destemmed, crushed and soaked it on its skins for 24 hours before pressing it. We then racked the juice to neutral barriques for its fermentation and aging. The wine remained on its lees, and was occasionally stirred during fermentation to enhance flavor and texture. After 6 months in barrel, we blended the components and bottled the wine.
On the nose, we get scents of peach and gooseberry popping out of the glass. The mouthfeel is round with great fruit character, but balanced by its acidity. The finish is slightly chalky and lingers on the palate. This wine is the ultimate summertime food wine. It is racy, vibrant and quite versatile at the dinner table. Some of our favorite pairings as of late have been tempura vegetables, ceviche and Greek style grilled lamb burgers.
$17 per bottle //290 cases made //13% alc. // 6 months in neutral oak barriques & casks
2010 Trainwreck 32 month aged Lake County Sauvignon Blanc
Now for a bit of weirdness...We have been intrigued by “vin jaune” (wines that are not topped off during cask aging) wines from the Jura region of France. We have also been experimenting with more skin contact on white wines to see what we can get in the way of more complexity. We like to think we are building a tradition with our winemaking, but we always leave a little room for messing around with experiments. The grapes for this wine were crushed, de-stemmed and soaked on the skins for 24 hours. We then pressed the wine directly to barrel taking all of the lees and sediment that we could with it. The wine was barrel fermented and then left to age for 32 months. We rarely topped this wine and kept the So2 levels to the bare minimum. What we have ended up with is a beautiful wine that shows slight oxidation on the palate, a rich feel, but still light and refreshing. This is definitely a wine for wine geeks and lovers of the out of the ordinary things in life. Warning: this wine is a potential time bomb! Non ml + bottled unfiltered= potential ml ferment in bottle. Please store this wine chilled, or drink soon!
22 cases made // $29/750ml bottle
2012 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
As always, our goal is to not overdo it when it comes to Chardonnay. We pick the grapes when the acid and flavors are in perfect balance. If we pick too early, we miss out on flavor, and if we pick to late we miss the acid. The 2012 vintage was a no brainer as far as winemaking goes. A near perfect growing season gave us great raw materials for this wine. This multi-vineyard (and clonal) blend of brings bright acidity, medium richness & low alcohol to the table. This wine is a blend of Keefer Ranch, a touch of Heintz Vineyard, and young vine Wente clone grapes from Fidelis Vineyard. We employ just a small amount of new oak for aging this wine.
This is our ode to Chablis: crisp, clean, lively and refreshing. On the nose, wet stones, lemon and a pear. The tannins are chalky, giving the wine structure and length. Perfect for the dinner table.
Aged in 15% New French oak // 14 months in barrel // 13.5% alc. // 400 cases produced // $24 per 750ml bottle
The Babushka bottling premiered with the 2007 vintage. This bottling is a tribute to my Great Grandmother, who lived a life of incredible balance. Living her life in Northern Wisconsin, she attended church daily, but also enjoyed a cold beer during a game of Bunco in the evenings. Nothing wrong with that! That is the sort of balance that we hope to
achieve in our wines. Chardonnay is all about not picking too early where you miss out on developed flavors, but also not picking to late and ending up with a flabby wine that lacks acidity. You want flavors, but you don’t want overdone flavors. It’s like eating cookie dough: one spoonful is great, but the whole bowl will give you a tummy ache. The Babushka, our most popular Chardonnay, achieves this balance. It is crisp and tense yet countered by mid-palate richness that expands in the mouth then finishes like a ghost. This year’s blend is barrels selected from our Keefer Ranch vineyard lots. Aged 14 months on the lees, the final selections are made right before bottling. Green apples, wet stones and a touch of creaminess highlight the nose. The palate is medium weight with flavors of lemon curd and pear.
Aged 20% New French oak // 14 months in barrel // 13.0% alc. // 122 cases produced // $36 per 750ml bottle
Charlie Heintz’s vineyard needs no introduction. Classic California Chardonnays have been made from this site by Littorai, Ramey, Williams-Selyem, DuMol, Flowers and many others over the years. I made my first wine from the Heintz vineyard in 2006 for the Suacci Carciere label, but 2012 marks my first vintage for Zepaltas Wines. With our chardonnay we keep the process is a basic as possible. In the early morning of October 2 we hand-harvested our first parcel of 1.3 tons. 21 brix. At the winery we destemmed and crushed the grapes, and soaked them on the skins for overnight without the use of so2 at any point. After 24 hours we pressed the fruit directly to barrels for fermentation. The wine was aged in oak and allowed to go through natural primary and malolactic fermentation. Classic Green Valley notes on the Heintz: wet stones, persimmon and lemon on the nose. The palate is racy, vibrant and energetic with flavors of pear, ginger spice, with an explosive mouthfeel that’s just slightly rich, with a long chalky finish. This wine will continue to improve for 3-5 years-maybe longer!
Aged in 33% new French oak // 14 months in barrel // 13.0% alc. // 72 cases produced // $45 per 750ml bottle
2013 Battaglini Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Chardonnay has become an obsession for us. Making great Chardonnay is, in our opinion, the toughest winemaking challenge. You must first make the correct picking decision. Pick too early and you have sharp, Vino Verde with no real depth or character. If you harvest too ripe you end up with an unctuous, alcoholic mess. Aging is another important consideration too. New oak barrels smell so good when filling them with freshly pressed Chardonnay juice. It is tempting to use them with reckless abandon! The end result could be an oaky buttery mess! The length of time in barrel, putting the wine through secondary (malolactic) fermentation (or not) can all steer the wine in different directions. Not to mention that Chardonnay can take so long to finish fermenting. It is not uncommon for it to still be buzzing away until the spring following harvest.
When out searching for new vineyards for our Russian River Chardonnay, we stumbled upon the Battaglini Vineyard located just west of Santa Rosa off of Piner Rd. The Battaglini Estate is mostly known for their old Zinfandel vines (the oldest plantings dating back to 1885.) There is a younger section of Wente clone Chardonnay planted in the back of the estate in-the perfect location for growing classically styled California Chardonnay.
Most of our Battaglini barrels are blended into our Russian River Valley Chardonnay. The Battaglini Chardonnay was such a standout however, that we absolutely had to bottle some on its own. In our blending trial, we created a micro-cuvee exclusively for our mailing list members. This wine will only be available to you and other members.
This wine shows more richness on the palate than our usual Chardonnay bottlings yet stays within our style. On the nose poached pear, wet stones and crème brulée. Nervy and bright, and should continue to improve over the course of the next 4 years.
Aged in light toasted new French oak // 15 months in barrel // 13.8% alc. // 24 cases produced //$28 /750ml bottle // Limit 6
2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
As I have said before, one of the most fun parts of winemaking is multi-vineyard blending for our appellation blends. As we get more vintages under our belt, the single vineyards are less and less “blends.” Coming up with our Appellation blends is often a much wilder ride: sitting back at table with beakers of the different components, tasting through, and messing with different combinations. It is so fun to see how different a blend can show by swapping various barrels in and out of a trial blend.
The Sonoma Coast bottling is the more elegant sibling to our deeper Russian River Valley. It requires longer aging in barrels because of its higher acidity. The extra time in barrel helps soften the palate on the wine. The 2014 is blend of barrelsfrom five vineyards: Suacci, La Cruz, W.E. Bottoms, Devoto and Marshall Ranch. Each site contributes something different to make this multi-layered, complex wine. On the nose we get dried herbs, flowers, baking spices & raspberries. This wine has vibrant energetic palate, light tannins, and flavors of the Sonoma Coast (pomegranate, cherry, and dried herbs.)
Aged in 30% New French oak // 14 months in barrel // 13.0% alc. // 235 cases produced // $32 per 750ml
2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
On the nose this wine has aromas of cedar, raspberry and dried herbs. The palate is refreshing, light bodied and wildly aromatic. Sturdy structure is provided courtesy of the fine-grit tannins from stem inclusion (about 30%.) We say that we make this wine for early drinking, but there is no reason that this wine will not get better and better with time in the cellar.
$32/bottle // Vineyards: 55% Nunes Vineyard, 30% W.E. Bottoms 15% Marshall Ranch Harvest Dates: Sept. 7-18 // 30% new French oak // Aged 11 months in barrel // 13.7% Alcohol // 3.6 pH // .65 TA 450 cases made
This is our 9th vintage sourcing fruit from the La Cruz Vineyard in the Petaluma Gap area of the Sonoma Coast Appellation. It may not be coastal as in “close to the Pacific Ocean”, but the site performs like a site near the coast. Brisk, cool winds and a thick fog bank protect this site from too much sun. Nice, even keeled afternoons make this site one of the most consistent sites to work with. Year after year we can expect, balanced ripeness and intense fruit flavors. This blend is made from wine from 2 different blocks at La Cruz: 115 Dijon & Pommard. 50% whole cluster fermentation
On the nose: lavender, baking spice and dried cherries. It is held together and given presence by vibrant acidity. The light tannins and gentle, pretty fruit deliver a wine that is showing well young, but will gain more complexity with time in the cellar. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
$44/bottle // Harvest date: September 5 // 33% New French Oak // Aged 11 months in barrel 13.1% Alcohol // 3.67 pH // .6 TA // 74 cases made
2013 Nunes Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
The Nunes vineyard planted on an alluvial bench at the base of the foothills near Shiloh Rd. in North Santa Rosa. The vineyard is primarily dry-farmed because its shallow, silty loam topsoil the roots of the vines have been able to work their way deep into the earth in search of water. The resulting wines are densely aromatic and fruit driven, but in a concise form. This wine is showing well now, but will only get better with time in the cellar.
On the nose, aromas of dried rose petal, blueberry & black cherry. On the palate we get flavors of raspberry, clove with light tannins and a medium- bodied mouthfeel. 2013 seems to be an exact cross between 2011 and 2012. Our thought is that it is even more complex than the 2011, but still delivers the classic fruit character of the Russian River Valley like in 2012.
$44/bottle // 25% new French oak // Aged 11 months in barrel 13.5% Alcohol // 3.6 pH // .65 TA // unfined and unfiltered //98 cases made
Finally, after two difficult vintages, our most popular Pinot Noir returns. After not selecting any barrels for single-vineyard designation in 2010 and 2011, we finally had a long overdue, amazing vintage at the Suacci Vineyard. It was difficult to swallow the thought of not having a Suacci bottling two years in a row. It is by far, our most sought after single vineyard. To have it missing from the lineup for two vintages really disrupts the vertical we’re trying to build! It is always a risk at this “Sonoma Coast extreme” vineyard. The fruit often needs lots of hang time to get ripe because of the extremely cold temperatures at this exposed, windy site. The growing season was perfect in 2012, and we were rewarded with a stunning wine.
With the 2012 we get the impression of a vineyard that has matured and the wines have become much more complex. This blend comes from the steepest block of the vineyard at the very top of the vineyard. Deep, beautiful floral notes highlight the nose that is backed up by dried herbs, baking spice and raspberries. In the mouth, a little gritty tannin and chalky mouthfeel hold up exotic flavors of black cherry and mint. This is definitely a wine that will benefit from time in the cellar. At the moment it is tight, nervy and petite. It is full of tension and needs cellar time to help it soften up. It is very possible that this wine will be our most ageable, classic wine that we have made. 50% whole cluster.
Aged 50% New French oak // 14 months in barrel // 13.0% alc. // 147 cases produced // $49 per 750ml
This is our third vintage from thisgreat site in theSebastopol Hills. Farmer Stan Devotois well known around West SonomaCounty. He is a legendary organicapple farmer, and grows amazingflowers for the markets. He got the itch to grow grapes, and in 2006 he planted Pinot Noir right on his prime spot up on top of Gold Ridge Road. In tasting the wine that this young vineyard is producing, it is crazy to think how the wines from this site will be in 10+ years when the vines get some more age on them.
2013 has produced a wine that is earthy, energetic, deep, and dark. It’s perfumed with strawberry, mint and raspberry. On the palate there are flavors of earth, blackberry and dried herbs. The wine’s structure is given a lift from whole-cluster fermentation (50%.)
Aged 33.3% New French oak // 14 months in barrel // 13.6% alc. // 72 cases produced // $46 per 750ml //
In the cellar we fermented 3 small, separate lots of Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah in small vats, and pressed them directly to barrels. We aged the varietals separately and right before bottling, we put together this little ode to a Côte du Rhône. The wine is about 20% whole cluster and was aged in neutral French oak for nearly two years.
The nose is earth and pepper, and blackberry and the palate is ripe raspberry, cacao and anise. This wine is perfect for everyday drinking with more substantial fare. As we get into autumn, this wine will pair seamlessly with roasted root vegetables, braised beef or lamb.
$16/ bottle // Vineyards: Rosella’s & Ledgewood Creek // Aged 22 mos. in neutral barriques 42% Grenache, 33% Mourvedre, 25% Syrah // 14.2% Alc. // 120 cases made
2012 Pickberry Vineyard Sonoma Valley Cabernet Franc
We stumbled upon the Pickberry Vineyard like many things in life-totally randomly. I had been talking with vineyard manager Ned Hill while walking Zinfandel vines for another project we are involved in. I told him about my itch to jump out of my Pinot Noir comfort zone, and start working with some other varietals. I mentioned that I always wanted to make Cabernet Franc, but I didn’t know where to start the search. Also, I wasn’t really looking to find a vineyard far outside of Sonoma. He mentioned that there was an old vineyard that he had just taken over the farming on, and that there were some vines available. I did a little research, learned that Joel Peterson of Ravenswood made this vineyard famous with his Pickberry Bordeaux blend, and that it was an anchor his Cabernet Franc blend as well. The next step was to taste some wines from the vineyard. I was given a bottle from the 1987 and 1994 vintage from the vineyard owners Cris & Lorna Strotz, and I also hunted down a few old bottles on the secondary market. Needless to say, I was blown away at how great these old wines were. Still fresh as daisies at 20+ years old! We signed up for the fruit immediately.
2012 was a “normal” vintage. It was much warmer compared to 2010 and 2011, but for some reason, the fruit took forever to get ripe. I wasn’t complaining, but it was hard to get used to extremely slow ripening grapes. We sampled every few days-the progression was so slow. Eventually the canopy started to decline along with the acid, so we decided to pull the trigger on October 15th with the fruit 21.6 brix. We weren’t exactly going for that low of a sugar, and we would have been happy to hang it to 23 brix, but I just wasn’t going to happen. We worried that we would have a green, under-ripe wine to deal with, but those worries quickly went away as fermentation ensued. We had a hard time not bottling this after 6 months because we were so giddy about it.
On the nose: lavender, crushed rocks, anise and black pepper. On the palate: blueberries, raspberry and of course the hallmark of Cabernet Franc: Bell pepper. We get medium/ fine grit tannins and really fresh, lively palate. We are so proud to call this California with its wild dense flavors and aromatics, but it is light bodied and feminine too, and that reminds us a bit of Chinon. Cellaring this wine will be exciting. Short term drinking will require without a doubt, some decanting and to be paired with a rustic dishes such as cassoulet.
Aged 25% New French oak // 14 months in barrel // 12.7% alc. // 98 cases produced // $26 per 750ml bottle
In 2011, a mischievous family of deer found their way into the vineyard during the spring, and had their own “all you can eat” salad of bar grape shoots and leaves all to themselves. Needless to say the 2011 crop was non-existent. In 2012 we turned that frown upside-down and had a glorious harvest.
This organically farmed site located on top of the Harrison grade between Occidental and Graton is a uniquely planted site. The vines are planted in a meter by meter layout (planted by Paul Sloan of Small Vines Viticulture.) This philosophy is that it will create more vine competition, reduce vigor & yields and steer the roots downward deep in to the soils for water. We have been working with this site since 2005. It has been awesome to witness the maturing of the vines and the resulting wines. The 2012 is a lovely & lively old school Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Flavors of cherry, Indian spices, forest floor and cola highlight this clean, bright wine. The whole clusters in the ferment add backbone and a touch of exotic spice to the aromatics. 13.3% alc., 33% Whole cluster, 25% new oak
$48/ bottle 100 cases
Here is our current range of wines with the most recent vintage profiled. Inquire about availability of library wines.