This wine has done more to define the project's
character than any other.
Here are its origins:
Spurred strongly by Andy Erickson, I finally agreed to take some
SB farmed by Joe Votek, who is the master of hillside farming in
Sonoma, and with whom I had been working at Luna since 2003. I took
the fruit without ever having seen the vineyard-- I had resisted
for months both Joe's and Andy's encouragement to visit the vineyard.
Finally, one day in September, Andy called me and said-- "my
fruit from farina is coming in and it's FANTASTIC. You HAVE to get
some." Andy is low-key and not inclined toward exaggeration.
I called Joe.
Fruit from the upper section of the vineyard came in first and was
whole-cluster pressed and became 2005 LSB.
For the next few days, the winemakers expecting fruit from the richer
and more late-ripening sections of the vineyard waited. Then some
fruit came into White Rock-- by coincidene, not for me, but for
another client of Joe's. Almost every cluster was stained witha
little round strike of botrytis. I called Joe and made the following
proposal: "Harvest all of the botrytised fruit from all over
the vineyard. I will take all of it. Any clean fruit from my section
can go to your other clients."
We crushed and destemmed the grapes to tank to maximize the expression
of the botryits. We allowed the must to macertate for 48 hours,
pressed lightly, and put the juice in mostly new oak. The fermentation
was sudden and hot; we had wine that we could taste within a couple
of weeks. Right from the beginning, this was not just the craziest
wine in the cellar, but the most powerful. Its aromas dominated
the whole harvest.
This wine will not be repeated. Not if Joe Votek can help it.