Join Zepaltas Wines in NYC February 26th at City Winery for an extensive tasting of the Best of Sonoma Coast!
Tickets available HERE
We are really excited to give this wine a larger audience. We have been keeping it behind the scenes, making it only available via the mailing list for the last few vintages, but now we will be featuring it on the wine lists of some of our best accounts around the world.
We have been employing the fruit from Fred and Wendy Nunes’ predominately dry-farmed vineyard as the anchor to our Russian River Pinot Noir since 2008. In that time we’ve enjoyed getting to know nuances the vineyard and how the resulting wines age. We have blended small single-vineyard cuvees for our mailing list in the past, but this will be the first wide release of Nunes Vyd. to the outside world. After multiple tasting trials, we created the blend from three of our favorite sections of the vineyard planted to two different Dijon clones: 777 & 115. The wine was aged for 14 months in 40% new French oak barriques.
On the nose, aromas of dried rosemary, blueberry & black cherry. On the palate we get light tannins and medium-bodied mouthfeel. This wine will benefit from one year in the cellar so that the wine can align itself. This vintage of Nunes is a touch lighter on its feet than past vintages. It is elegant and layered, but still delivers the classic fruit character of the Russian River Valley. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
48 cases made
Buy it HERE
We have been bottling our “Babushka” Chardonnay since 2007. The name is a tribute to my great grandmother who only spoke Polish. In Slavic languages it means “grandmother”, but it is also slang for the scarf that old ladies would wear on their heads in cold weather.
When we would visit her in the winter growing up in Wisconsin, her way of telling us to bundle up when we went outside to play was “babushka, babushka.” I always thought it was a cool word. She was a cool lady. She went to church everyday, but didn’t mind having a drink and playing cards. I always loved her spirit and balance.
Each year to create this wine, we select our favorite barrels from the Russian River Valley lots to go into our Babushka Chardonnay. More often than not, the blend is anchored by Keefer Ranch. This vintage is no different; in fact, the bottling is a 100% comprised of barrels from the Keefer Ranch Vineyard located in the Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley. The vines are planted on a rocky hillside that permits good drainage and promotes root depth. We used 22% new French oak for aging, and the wine spent 14 months on the lees. Malolactic fermentation was blocked in order to keep the wine bright and snappy on the palate.
On the nose we get wet stones, lemon curd and tonic, and as the wine opens up the steely edge loosens up showing hints of orchid flowers and citrus and horchata.
This wine should age and keep on improving for at least 5 years from release, but requires decanting for short term drinking. Classic pairings would be roasted chicken or cream sauce based pasta dishes.
113 cases made
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Today’s featured wine comes from the Petaluma Gap area of the Sonoma Coast Appellation. The La Cruz Vineyard sort of “put us on the map” as a winery when we received great press from the Wine Spectator (95 pts) in our debut vintage of 2005. It has been a very consistent site for us each year turning out a classically styled, earthy, elegant wine. Most recently, our 2010 had a great write-up in the San Francisco Chronicle. The La Cruz was noted as “a benchmark” for Sonoma Coast wines from the difficult 2010 vintage, and made the Newspaper’s year end “Top 100 Wines” list.
The 2011 is our 7th vintage from the La Cruz Vineyard. It is strange to think that it is only now that we feel that we‘ve begun to really understand the vineyard. During the first few harvests it was all about how the juice and the subsequent wines tasted young, and the noted differences in the various soils, elevations and clones. Only after aging some bottlings, and seeing how the wines shaped themselves, were we able to take our knowledge to the next level. The biggest epiphany came from learning when to pick without losing our natural acidity. Early on, we may have hung the fruit longer to insure good “fruit character” but may have lost out on some natural acidity. Now we have the confidence to pick much earlier knowing that we can have our cake and eat it to with this vineyard. Getting “fruit character” isn’t a problem at 22 brix. This blend is made from wine from 3 different sections: 115 Dijon clone, a little Pommard and some Dijon 114. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
On the nose: mushroom, cedar and dried cherries. It is held together and given presence by vibrant acid. The light tannins and gentle, pretty fruit deliver a wine that is showing well young, but should gain complexity with time in the cellar. It’s your call!
98 cases made
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Today’s featured wine is a special bottling from our appellation series of Pinot Noirs. These are wines that we blend together so that we have great Pinot to offer at a friendlier price than our single vineyard Pinot Noirs. This is the new bottling from the challenging, but (we feel) underrated vintage:
2011 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Why do we love the Sonoma Coast? Is it the romance of remote vineyards planted on the fringe? The risk involved in farming in these often “too cool” sites? The exotic & unique flavors of the wines? Yes, yes and yes. The payoff is worth the white knuckles and anxiety that tougher vintages bring on. 2011 definitely was a challenge, but we are really proud of what made the cut in this blend. On the nose, we get dried herbs, morel mushrooms and cherries, cranberries & currant. Fans of stem inclusion will love the aromatics and structure of this wine. It is lean, yet textured, and with enough fruit to remind you that this is California Pinot Noir. The 2011 was blended from barrels from the Suacci, Devoto, Marshall Ranch and La Cruz Vineyards. Aged 14 months in 33% new French Oak.
212 cases made