-9-Early morning mists during harvest in in the Estate VineyardWinery and vineyardsRadio-Coteau & County Line Vineyards vineyardsOccidental SebastopolRadio-Coteau is sold exclusively to hotels and restaurants. Please contact us for details.County Line Vineyards Rosé 2019Region:Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, CaliforniaVariety:Pinot NoirAlc. 12.0%RRP ¥4,500Food-friendly Rosé. A mouth-watering and vibrant expression of a whole-cluster pressed champagne clone of Pinot Noir. Bright alpine strawberries commingle with citrusy yuzu and fresh lime zest, balanced by a rened minerality. Fermented and aged in neutral French oak using indigenous yeast. Vinous, 90 pointsCounty Line VineyardsZinfandel 2018Region: Russian River Valley, Sonoma, CaliforniaVariety: ZinfandelAlc. 15.2%RRP ¥4,500Organically cultivated old vine Zinfandel, made with no clarication or ltration. Brambly blackberry and blueberry avours with notes of cinnamon and chocolate. Fine tannins and smooth acidity create an elegant balance, and a long, inviting nish.CODE11462CODE11459* Goldridge, the predominant soil in the Sonoma Coastal region is a ne sandy loam formed from the remnants of an ancient seabed. It encourages deep rooting without excessive vigour, producing beautifully balanced fruit without the need for irrigation.You can see it in the soil and on the farm, the bio-diversity finds its way into the wine. I am not sure I can quantify or measure it, but you can feel it. It has to do with less processing. The less manipulation, I call it non-interventional winemaking ‒ you have to pick the grapes, ferment them, press them and put them into barrels. But it is fermented grape juice. The less you do the more you are preserving the integrity between the earth and this final product.◆How do you approach the different vineyard sites in the winery?There is fun all along the way. The grower relations depends on the site, some have been sold to new owners, some the same owners. It is nice to be diversified because every year, especially with these fires, to have things in different spots to respond to the vagaries of Mother Nature and farming. It gives us a palate of different flavours and colours and expressions. And the customer base enjoys a variety as it gives us more things to offer. We currently have 5 Pinots, 4 Chardonnays, 3 Syrahs, an old vine Zinfandel, a Riesling and a proprietary red.For me it was about being inspired by Burgundy, and the understanding that the different spots have their different personalities, and that is a fun thing to capture. By nature all the wines are fermented the same way, the amount of whole cluster is a stylistic difference in the Pinots, a function of the vintage and also the site. If a site has lots of tannin we are unlikely to add more whole cluster, but in drier vintages you tend to get better stem lignification, and we find that the stems with more whole berry and whole cluster give more lift, brightness and freshness. So we are doing more and more whole cluster. One of the biggest challenges in California is it can get quite warm, and we want to pick on the earlier side, and be really gentle with the fruit to preserve freshness and the natural acidity. Whole cluster is a tool for that. Barrel selection also plays into stylistic differences but we don’t use a lot of new wood anymore so that is kind of in the background.◆How have you evolved your use of oak?Our early vintages from 2002 to 2009 we were picking a little bit riper, using 40-50 percent French oak in new barrels. Now, we are picking earlier, all potential alcohols for the Pinots are under 14 percent, closer to 13 percent. For wood we may use 30 percent at most for the top cuvee, but it tends to be less. We only use tight grain selections, with a light or medium toast. It comes back to preserving freshness with fruit in the forefront, because fruit is the personality of the site. Nice French oak tastes good but you start to loose the sense of origin, so we want the wood to be in the background.◆What is your approach and vision in differentiating Radio-Coteau and County Line Vineyards?I love the Japanese appreciation of the beauty of imperfection, and the complexities of wine. Radio-Coteau is classically manifested in the ‘old world technique, new world fruit’ approach ‒ pedigree sites we work with in a very traditional, classic style, poised for aging. There is an old-world aesthetic to the wines but we are Californian, we do want to share a little bit of that sunshine.I like to think about wines from a food pairing perspective, more restrained, more like meditations, more delicate. That is where my palate has gone. We are also finding that wines that are more restrained in their youth will age more gracefully. Wines that are bigger, bolder and riper tend to get a little bit heavier as they age. County Line Vineyards is a companion label made by the same people, to offer honest and simple pleasures from organically and biodynamically farmed sites, with a focus on food-friendly, everyday drinking and wine-by-the-glass pours. The Rose has always been the flagship and now we are starting on experimental explorations such as Rose made in a Pétillant Naturel style, and skin contact whites. From Village CellarsRecently, we were delighted to be approached by Radio-Coteau to handle their wines in Japan, and in further conversation expanded their offerings to included wines from companion label County Line Vineyards. Since 2003, Eric has made outstanding Coastal Sonoma wines in keeping with his ‘wine grower’ philosophy. To him, wine growing is also about appreciating the beauty of imperfection, expressed in the Japanese term ‘wabi-sabi’. It is no surprise then, that Japanese descriptors appear in his tasting notes, and his wines pair beautifully with Japanese cuisine. We look forward to sharing Eric’s unique sensibilities and wines with you.

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