We made 20 gallons-- about 7 cases-- of this wine in 2008 and it captivated all of us. We gave it all away in a spirit of celebration and determined to make more in 2009. We then made 80 cases and it sold out to the mailing list overnight. In 2010 we requested a bold share of the vineyard from Kevin Phillips and made 290 cases, from 2 separate harvest and fermentation lots.
The fruit is Cinsault, from 140-year old vines, planted on their own roots in an unirrigated block of sand in the center of Lodi. It is harvested ripe and so dark that it looks like squid ink is in the skins. We make very little red wine from this fruit-- instead, we make this wine, pressing the whole-cluster fruit with the greatest of delicacy, as if it were vulnerable white fruit. Most of the color stays in the skins, and we make a Blanc de Noir, lightly tinged with pink. The wine is fresh and direct in the mouth; powerful from the old vines and good ripeness, but still light on its feet, tingling with freshness. The wine exhibits body and transparency at once.
blanc de noir from 140-year old Cinsault vines