At a roughly 900 foot elevation near Philo, Roland
and Barbara Wentzel’s10-acre vineyard is organically farmed within
an expansive 300+ acre forested property.
The particular plot of land that we get our fruit
from is called “the clos,” as it is a fenced-in block situated up
the hill. It’s a tiny block – less than an acre – that consists of
vines transplanted in 2004 from a lower block that had poorly
drained soil that promoted excessive vine vigor. The block has
north-south rows with a north-west orientation, terraced up a steep
hillside, so the grapes benefit from the long afternoon sunlight,
tempered by cool offshore breezes.
The clos at Wentzel Vineyard has Dijon clones 114,
115, 667 and 777 – all within a block that is less than an acre.
It's a pretty small block, so to complete the ton we also get fruit
from the nearby Lookout block, Dijon 115 clone.
In 2014, we doubled our production
(four barrels instead of two!) and we also added some whole
clusters (about 20%) to the fermentation - a rare technique for our
small winery. With this vineyard, everything lined up and we knew
that some whole cluster would add some earth and spice to the
wonderful strawberry profile that Wentzel Vineyard shows. These
layers are already revealing themselves in this wine and will
continue to unfold over time.
Tasting notes: With a medium ruby
color, this wine opens with pure aromas of bing cherry, rose petal,
white pepper and sweet fennel seed. On the palate, the wine
offers medium body and bright acidity emphasizing the red fruit
flavors of cherry and red plum. These flavors carry through
to the lengthy finish which is complimented by touches of cedar and
vanilla bean. This wine is just beginning to show its potential and
some time in the glass will be rewarded. Enjoy this now, but
it will continue to develop over the next 3-5 years.118 cases
is currently empty