All of our efforts go into producing the best wines possible, wines that we want to drink. We produce Pied à Terre only in excellent vintages. We didn't produce any wine in 2011 because the vintage didn't produce grapes that met our standards. Many people make similar, legitimate, claims but what sets us apart is that we never lose sight of our value proposition. The wine has to be delicious — and reasonably priced!
We source fruit from farmers with whom we have long-standing relationships, from diverse vineyard sites all over Sonoma. The fruit is then fermented by Clay Mauritson, an incredibly talented wine maker. We are fortunate to be working with Clay as he combines years of experience honed at his family's winery, the Mauritson Winery (where we make the wine), with unwavering integrity.
The 2013 vintage was exceptional, one of the best vintages in Sonoma in recent memory. The summer offered an abundance of sunshine, temperatures rarely spiked above the mid-'90s and except for a few sprinkles, the early fall rains that plagued so many recent harvests never arrived. The long and moderate growing season saw even flowering, veraison, and very uniform ripening, which resulted in grapes of excellent quality and balance.
The 2013 Pied à Terre is 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, from the following areas: Chalk Hill (Wild Iris and Clajeaux vineyard), Rockpile (Rockpile vineyard), Dry Creek (Aunt Cathy's vineyard), Sonoma Valley (Chamizal vineyard), Alexander Valley (Mauritson vineyard), Knights Valley (Grable vineyard) and Sonoma County.
The wine was aged exclusively in French wood, though only 20 percent of the barrels were new. We use an assortment of coopers, in search of the barrels with the least impact on flavor: Cavin, Orion, Boutes, Nadalie, Artisan, Rousseau, and Radoux.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of vibrant red fruit -- sour cherry, black cherry -- with a touch of peat and bell pepper. On the palate, the wine has great intensity and freshness, with subtle, mature tannins; a perfect complement to hearty meat dishes.
I set out to make a Sauvignon Blanc that I would love to drink (a statement that should not be taken lightly as there are very few Sauvignon Blancs that excite me). I am not a fan of those Sauvignon Blancs that are fruit bombs — intense notes of passion fruit / grapefruit, nor am I a fan of those grassy, bell-pepper Sauvignon Blancs. I work painstakingly to produce a Sauvignon Blanc that is balanced and not "green." My Sauvignon Blanc is destined to be unique. But delicious.
The fruit is sourced from two vineyards in Bennett Valley: Frostwatch and Denmark Street; The vineyard work ensures that the fruit will not be have excessive pyrazines while the meticulous work in the cellar ensures that the wine will be without those reductive passion fruit / grapefruit flavors.
I love wines with great energy and texture, and wines that express the varietal characteristics of the grape(s) and the grapes' respective terroir.
In order to maintain brightness and freshness, Pied à Terre Sauvignon Blanc does not undergo malolactic fermentation — I guess that is the sommelier in me. Given that, the wine is fermented and subsequently aged in 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old, used French barrels for 7 months to augment the wine's texture and complement the wine's acidity (full disclosure: 10 percent of the barrels are new).
In the end, I am proud to say that I accomplished my goal: I love drinking my Sauvignon Blanc. I hope you will, too.
Tasting Notes: An enticing, restrained aroma when initially opened, giving way to an ethereal and exotic mix of fennel, pineapple, quince. Light and fresh!