2004 Sandlands Duarte Vineyards
This was the first of many wines that Tegan Passilaqua has led us—literally, led us—to produce. He knows the old vine vineyards of California better than anybody that I know. He introduced me to Joe Duarte late in the summer of 2004 and so brought us to Joe’s amazing old Carignane and Mourvèdre vines that have been growing for a hundred years in the deep sand of Contra Costa county.
We harvested the grapes at the same time, bled them pretty thoroughly at the instigation of Christopher Vandendreissche, co-fermented them in punchdown, and put the resulting wine in barrel for 18 months. We hoped for the onset of brettanomyces, but never found it; allowed the wines to mature without topping or sulfur, and finally bottled a very flavorful wine that only began showing its virtues years after bottling.
75 cases produced.