Scholium Project

2015 La Severità di Bruto Farina Vineyard

This wine is composed of 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the rocky top of the superb Farina Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain. The vineyard is exclusively east-facing and descends from about 1100 feet of altitude to 800 feet. The fruit for La Severità di Bruto comes only from the light, rocky soil at the top of the vineyard. This section of the vineyard has the best drainage and the least access to ground water; the vines struggle here and produce clusters that are very small, with tiny berries, explosive with flavor and very high acidity. The combination of eastern aspect and long-lasting morning fog guarantees high acidity; the sparse, dry soil guarantees the intensity.

The wine is made in the same way every year. 2015 was the fourth year of the drought and produced fruit of great ripeness, density and remarkable acidity, all at the same time. The wine is subtle; powerful, but totally in balance, with excellent and persistent acid structure.

We bring the fruit in and place it directly in the press without destemming. We foot tread lightly in the press and then press very lightly with a maximum yield of 132 gallons per ton. We protect the juice immediately with both SO2 and dry ice, and try absolutely to minimize the effect of oxygen, and to inhibit the onset of malo-lactic fermentation. As in 2007 and 2013, the wine had a ridiculously long fermentation, and only completed after 30 months in barrel. What is absolutely remarkable is that we completely prevented malo-lactic fermentation during this whole time. The absence of malo and the long fermentation mean that the wine has great freshness in spite of its nearly 3 years in barrel. This is one of best vintages of this wine ever, and surely the strangest!

A note on the origin of the name: the wine is named for a phrase in Macchiavelli’s Discourses on Livy. The word “severità” means not just to severity but discipline. The first year that we made the wine, it tasted like nothing that we had ever made before— higher acid, with very intense and even severe structure. In a certain sense, the most serious thing we had done to-date.

The wine is bottled with a total SO2 of 97 ml/liter and 12 mg/liter free.

Total production about 120 cases.

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