2022 Chardonnay San Francisco Bay
TA: 6.0 g/l
Brix at harvest: 23.2-24.5
Harvest date: 8/31-9/21/2022
Aging: Fermented in stainless and oak, then consolidated into stainless for aging.
Bottled: March 2022
“The Chardonnay that comes from the San Francisco Bay appellation possesses a unique focus of character. While being in a warmer, mediterranean climate, the three vineyards which make up this Chardonnay are both located along the eastern edge of the SF Bay. The sloping, rolling hills of the Kalthoff common creates a microclimate ideal for drainage and retaining the cool air that prolongs the growing season. The Sblendorio Vineyard which is south along Mines Rd adds terroir to the style. Additionally, the Lamorinda appellation just north of Livermore Valley has a strong delta influence keeping the vineyard a very cool region 3.
I was a non-believer of Chardonnay from this appellation when I arrived here in 2004. Today, I will put this wine against any Chard on the shelf at the price point. The appellation is under-valued. It is one of the more exciting wines that I work with.”
Dane Stark, winemaker
The combined fermentation process of this Chardonnay, some in stainless and some in barrels, adds complexity to this generous wine.
It has a lovely, medium golden straw color.
It has opening notes of butter, yeast, apricot and honey suckle with a bit of almond and vanilla on the nose. A very generous and pleasing bouquet, presages a delicious wine.
The palate entry is of floral components with spice, honey, ripe fruit in the California style and a rich, pleasing mid palate. The acidity is tempered making this an excellent food wine but one that drinks all by itself just fine! There is a lingering butter in the finish with ripe fruit and floral notes and a rich finish.
2021 GPS, Livermore Valley
(6% Grenache, 14% Petite Sirah, 80% Syrah)
Brix at harvest: 25
Harvest date: 9/11-10/12/2021
Aging treatment: 80% Aged American Oak
20% New American Oak
“To be a good winemaker is to be a good listener. We spend entire seasons listening to the vineyard, trying to balance the vine to its environment, water with the vine’s need, adjusting to the cycles. We watch the shoots, the clusters, the canopy and the cover crop. We put our ear to the proverbial ground at harvest, weighing the ripeness of the fruit with the health of the vine, the weather, projected remaining heat in the season, rain fall…. And “hear” when it is time to pick. We spend years listening to the wine in barrels, does it need more oak? Is it too tannic? Will it age longer? Does it need to be bottled?
I have spent 18 years listening to the Livermore Valley appellation and this spot, this valley, these vineyards with their history, they give me perspective. Leave the overwrought Cabs to the North, the mist enshrouded Pinots to the West. Give me glorious floral. Give me fruit driven blends. Let me hear the Grenache, the Petite Sirah and the Syrah grapes that enjoy deep soils, heated summers, and afternoon bay breezes only the east bay experiences. Put these varietals together, grown in this place, and the Livermore Valley pulls back the veil to bring you into its fold. This blend says “place”, it says “unique”, it says “Livermore Valley” like no other blend can.”
Dane Stark, winemaker
Beautiful dark red with ruby edges and deep red towards the center.
This wine opens with ripe berries, a back bone of oak, layered cassis, strawberry, plum and dense fruit. The palate is awake and pleasing, with medium tannins, a lengthy and full mouthfeel and progressive acidity. It finishes long with ripe fruit, red berries, a touch of oak and a lengthy underlay of spice. The smoke on the final palate is notable. It should age gracefully.
2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley
Brix at harvest: 24.5
Harvest date: 9/24/2020-10/17/2020
Aging treatment: 100% American oak medium grain, 20% New oak.
“The grapes for this wine come from three different vineyards in the Livermore Valley. They have been selected for producing exceptional wines for the region.
The Livermore Valley will produce stunning Cabs, and this vintage is no exception. The East end of the valley provides heat, deep soils, and a length to the day during the growing season that provides for weighty Cabernet Sauvignon. The west end has more pocketed terrain, more fertile ground and more even ripening.
With the grace of this wine ageability is assured.”
Dane Stark, winemaker
The color of this wine is ruby red in the center with clarity and vibrant edges.
It opens with clean, robust fruit, a touch of cranberry and floral, and hints of blueberry, cassis and earth. It has a back drop of oak, not so much that over rides the palate, but enough to add structure to the mid palate and a fine coating of oak tannins.
The fruit is backed by rich cassis with a vanilla undertone. Medium tannins provide for a wonderful food wine and tremendous age-ability. The smooth finish mingles toasted oak and ripe fruit for a rich experience of classic Cabernet Sauvignon.