Co-fermenting whites and reds is the truth. Julien Guillot (a winemaker we greatly admire) showed us that with his Cuvée 910 - the wine that inspired our Cuvée 831. After drinking enough of Guillot's wine, we decided we should make our own riff on it. Pinot Noir like you've never had it before...
This wine is 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay - co-fermented on the skins for 55 days. It has the subtlety and depth of elegant Pinot Noir but with an electricity that we've seldom seen elsewhere.
Pro Tip: This wine is transcendent, go in without expectations and be prepared to open a second bottle because it's terribly haunting and you'll need to keep the journey going.
This wine was inspired by Julien Guillot’s Cuvée 910 - which is a coferment of Pinot, Gamay and Chardonnay from the Maconnais in Southern Burgundy. We thought Coastview Vineyard would be an excellent site to try our hand at something similar so we co-fermented 2 tons of Pinot with 1 ton of Chardonnay and the results were truly provoking.
Vineyard - The Coastview Vineyard is farmed by Father-Son duo John and Parker Allen. John bought the 2,000 acre ranch undeveloped in the 90’s because he’s a visionary and a glutton for punishment. He spent seven years cutting a dirt road from the gate on the valley floor to the vineyard that even now still takes 25 minutes to negotiate. But boy is the drive worth it. Once at the top, you wonder whether you’re still on Earth (but seriously, in North America?) - it almost looks extraterrestrial. The whole thing is brought into context when you reach the top of the vineyard at 2,400 feet and can see clear out to the Monterey Bay.
John and Parker manage a small crew that works closely with them, and they employ their herd of 900 sheep instead of mowers and herbicide. Their passion for their vineyard shows through in the blood sweat and tears they expend farming this impossibly rugged terrain. We've rarely encountered vineyard owners who work so hard and that is really a loaded statement. It cannot be overstated how ridiculous it is to have a vineyard planted at the top of this mountain. However, their vision is realized in the clarity of these wines. The vineyard shines through and marks with wines with such grace and definition that they're unmistakable. The Chardonnay comes from the Top Block and Pinot comes from Big Block, both near/at the top of the steeply sloped/terraced vineyard.
Method - Both varietals were picked around 22.5 brix. The Pinot was partially destemmed, and the Chard was all whole cluster. Cap manipulation was a combination of pigeage and pumpovers for a total of 55 days on the skins before being pressed to neutral French oak for 10 months of elevage.
Unfined, unfiltered and untouched. No sulfur is harmed in the making of this wine - 210 cases produced / 12.5% Alcohol