Wines of the 2009 vintage
The spirit of the interns fueled our harvest. Johanna was our spine of constant strength; Graeme a slow-moving arrow of thought, a lake of calm. We got a tremendous amount of work done, aided day after day by many friends and visitors. We made better wines than we ever did before, and had more fun, measured both in amplitude and extension.
2009 ANDROKTEINOS HUDSON VINEYARDS
An especially seductive whole-cluster Syrah. Beautifully ripe and high-acid at once; with powerful funk, but no dirt or rot. Blood and iron, hung game, Jamón iberico. Exactly what we aimed for from the days before harvest.
2009 BABYLON TENBRINK VINEYARDS
One hundred percent Petite Sirah from Suisun Valley, a perfect representative of our deepest reds; they live close to the earth, and not in the realm of fruit and flowers. The wine is rich and ripe; its tannins roar like the engine of a dragster.
2009 BRICCO BABELICO TENBRINK VINEYARD
Petite Sirah from Suisun Valley of richness and concentration reminiscent of Amarone or Sfursat: Not the jammy richness of Northern California, but instead a tarry, porcini, and leather character that points to another world.
2009 CHUEY CAB NELLIGAN ROAD RANCH
Cabernet Sauvignon from a 40-year-old dry-farmed vineyard on the west side of Spring Mountain. The wine is very noble and old school; a Roman Senator representing another place and time.
2009 THE COURIER SHAKE RIDGE RANCH
A field blend of Syrah and Grenache from Ann Kraemer's Shake Ridge Ranch, harvested together and co-fermented. Delicate and sophisticated; much more like Pignan than like any of the Scholium red monsters.
2009 GLOS MCDOWELLVINEYARD
From 200 surviving vines of a 50-year-old vineyard in Rutherford. Fresh and serious at once; never much like California Sauvignon Blanc; luxurious in its power and intensity; not severe or challenging. Somehow familiar.
2009 LA SEVERITÁ DI BRUTO FARINA VINEYARD
Direct and mind-piercing whole-cluster-pressed Sauvignon Blanc from the rocky, upper section of Farina Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain.
2009 MARCHER SUR LA LUNE RESERVE BOKISCH RANCHES
Aggressive, partially skin-fermented Verdelho from a rocky hillside east of Lodi.
2009 MICHAEL FARADAY MATTHIASSON FAMILY VINEYARDS
Chardonnay from a rockpile in Sonoma Valley farmed by our friend and colleague Steve Matthiasson. This wine is one of our proudest creations, at once noble and showy; more Chablis than Montrachet
2009 MIDAN AL-TAHRIR
A blended white wine of five components from four vineyards, all barrel-fermented and -aged. This is built like a very powerful Grüner Veltliner; it is all minerals, thunder and baking spices—but not like a Chardonnay.
2009 NAUCRATIS LOST SLOUGH VINEYARDS
Verdelho, from the cool Sacramento River Delta. The wine is clean, direct, intense. As always, it is reminiscent of ripe, but not super-powerful, Grüner.
THE PRINCE IN HIS CAVES FARINA VINEYARD
Savage skin-fermented Sauvignon Blanc from the fragrant, less severe portion of Sonoma Mountain’s Farina Vineyard.
2009 RHODODACTYLOS PHILLIPS FARMS
Whole-cluster-pressed Malvasia Nera; own-rooted vines planted in the 1860s in Lodi. Fragrant white wine from red grapes.
2009 RIQUEWIHR LOST SLOUGH VINEYARDS
There is something in the nature of the Gewurz that trumps almost any methods. Strong but charming Gewürztraminer in 500 ml.
2009 SYLPHS GUMAN VINEYARD
A glorious Chardonnay from John Guman’s old vines; our best Sylphs since 2002.
You may order these wines here.