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 2015 vintage in Sonoma was the first year the drought impacted the fruit. The berries were naturally concentrated, with a high skin/water ratio. The intense fruit produced powerful, concentrated wines. Most of the fruit was sourced from Aunt Cathy’s, Nimble and the Grable vineyards, representing the best that Sonoma has to offer.
I am very proud of the 2015 Pied à Terre Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was aged exclusively in French wood, though less than 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, Sylvain and Radoux. In 2015, the wood integrated seamlessly. One of my favorite winemakers, Dominique Belluard, talks about the importance of a wine having energy. This wine has energy!
Tasting Notes:Aromas of sour cherry, violets and pencil shavings with supple texture and great length. Despite the richness and intensity of the vintage, the wine is still elegant and fresh, with 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!