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UPDATES

FROM THE HILLTOP

 

Copain Wines
 
August 30, 2016 | Copain Wines

Fall Releases

 Each spring and fall, we share the latest releases of our wines with our Members. In many cases, due to limited quantities, these wines are only available to our Members. Before each shipment, we reacquaint ourselves with the wines to determine how they are progressing. This is a treat for us and a great way to see how the wines are developing as we prepare to share them with our friends. Yesterday afternoon, Assistant Winemaker Sarah Wuethrich and I dove into our fall collection, and I thought you would be interested in what we found.

For our Appellation and Appellation Plus Members, the fall shipment highlights the newest releases of our Les Voisins Pinot Noir and Syrah. In addition, and for the first time, we have an amazing white wine option from the DuPratt Vineyard in the Anderson Valley. These wines are expressive and showing well already. We are excited about these wines and look forward to hearing your impressions as you share them with friends and family. I think everyone will want more of these special wines.

 For our Single Vineyard Members, we have an incredible lineup of single vineyard wines and one surprise from our library. Our fall lineup includes the Brosseau Chardonnay, Laureles Grade Chardonnay, and the Brosseau Syrah all from Monterey County. In addition, we have the latest release of our Wendling Pinot Noir from the deepest end of the Anderson Valley. Rounding out the selections is our Kiser ‘En Bas’ Pinot Noir, but with a "twist". As we completed our final reviews of the wines for our fall release, we determined that the 2013 Kiser ‘En Bas’ did not meet our high standards for wines made from this special vineyard and we will be replacing it with another vintage from this vineyard. As we have shared previously with you, Copain has been working to develop a library of our wines to be used for special releases and to showcase wines that are ready to drink upon release and while the loss of the 2013 vintage of this wine is difficult, we are excited to be able to replace it with our 2011 Kiser ‘En Bas” Pinot Noir from our library.  

 After our tasting, Sarah and I had the same thought: this fall is going to be special, and the harvest party, where we get to introduce the wines to our Members and friends is going to be a treat.  The 2013 and 2014 vintages are, each in their own way, remarkable. Both vintages began with dry spells but rains came in time to nourish our vines and produce wines that are complex and intense. The 2013 has a bit more tension while the 2014 is luscious and expressive, with ripe tannins and abundant fruit. We can't wait to share these wines!

 

2016 Fall Single Vineyard Releases

2014 Laureles Grade Chardonnay 
Retail Price: 55 Member Price: 46.75

2013 Laureles Grade Chardonnay
Seven miles from the Pacific Coast and 1,250 feet in elevation on a ridge overlooking Carmel Valley, the Laureles Grade parcel offers fruit as stunning as the location is breathtaking. Meticulous farming, a unique microclimate, and calcareous shale soils result in low yields of exceptionally high-quality fruit from this picturesque vineyard.

Tasting Notes: 
A fantastic vintage for this wine, the Laureles Grade Chardonnay showcases a bouquet of lush tropical fruits and citrus leaves. The palate is electrifying, pulsing with lively acidity, astounding focus, and clarity. Flavors of lemon balm, fresh tangerine, and opal basil are accented by a flinty core. The stony soils of this plot, situated in Carmel Valley, are vividly expressed in this dynamic and mineral-driven Chardonnay with more complexity and expression that become apparent after several years in the cellar. 

2014 Brosseau Chardonnay
Retail Price: 55 Member Price: 46.75

Located in the Chalone appellation that made history in the 1976 Paris Tasting, Brosseau is Copain’s most southern vineyard source. These old vines, reaping the benefits of the cool marine influence, are planted in a particularly rocky mixture of limestone and decomposed granite. Whole-cluster pressed into neutral oak barrels, the mature Wente clones produce one of the most mineral-driven Chardonnays in California. 

Tasting Notes: 
The Brosseau Chardonnay sings with flavors of dried apple, spiced caramel and persimmon while a sonorous acidity and pure minerality reverberate throughout the palate. The intense aromatics of delicate spice, peach blossom, and key lime unwind to a tightly structured core of perfectly ripe yellow fruits and limestone. A sublime vintage from the esteemed vineyard in the heart of the historic Chalone appellation, this offering once again mirrors the character of a cru Chablis. 

2011 Kiser 'En Bas' Pinot Noir 
Retail Price: 70 Member Price: 59.50

Roughly ten miles from the ocean, the Kiser Vineyard is located in the "Deep End" of Anderson Valley and is our coolest site, yielding small amounts of intensely flavored fruit. The vineyard has three distinctive blocks, each with different soils, and we bottle them separately as the wines are vastly different. Planted to dense, stony soils, the ‘En Bas’ is the lower portion of the vineyard.

Tasting Notes:
With alluring depth and exceptional structure, the 2011 Kiser ‘En Bas’ Pinot Noir is a beautifully textured wine of remarkable complexity. Regal and refined, this bottling resonates with exquisite harmony and purity of fruit that will only continue to captivate, evolve, and excite for many years to come. 

2014 Wendling Pinot Noir 
Retail Price: 60 Member Price: 51.00

Wendling lies just along the Anderson Valley AVA boundary, thereby earning the distinction of being the Valley’s closest vineyard to the coast. Exceptional for many reasons, the 15 acres that we farm were planted in 2008 with tight spacing, some meter by meter, to 10 clones of Pinot Noir. Expectations are high for this vineyard, as we anticipate it evolving into one of the valley’s preeminent sites.

Tasting Notes:
Situated in the farthest reaches of the Deep End of Anderson Valley, the Wendling vineyard continues to amaze with its compelling complexity and finesse. Full of uncoiled tension and assertive aromatics, this wine truly reflects the dynamic range of this northerly site and clonal selection. With a dark ruby core and concentrated color, 2014 Wendling is an enchanting earthy expression of Pinot Noir with deep flavors of ripe raspberry and red apple, dried leaves, and Tahitian vanilla. 2014 Wendling whispers the promise and potential of these vibrant young vines as they age. 

2013 Brosseau Syrah 
Retail Price: 45 Member Price: 38.25

Located in the Chalone appellation and a short distance from the Pinnacles National Monument, this vineyard is planted in granite and limestone and produces a wine that truly evokes its provenance. We would suggest decanting this wine if drinking young though it will develop exceptionally well in your cellar for 12-15 years.

Tasting Notes:
The Brosseau vineyard consistently yields some of our most unique and coveted wines.  Fresh blueberry, boysenberry, and cardamom lace the bouquet with alluring floral notes. Dramatically dense in color and body, the racy minerality plays perfectly alongside the wild and savory flavors of the Brosseau Syrah. Well-integrated tannins provide a strong core to this mature and resplendent red.

2016 APPELLATION WINE Releases

2014 Les Voisins Pinot Noir 
Retail Price: 42 Member Price: 35.70

Derived from the Deep End of Anderson Valley, which is the coolest end of the 18-mile long stretch, the fruit for this wine hails primarily from neighboring vineyards. These sites bear a preponderance of Dijon and California heritage clones. Altitude and proximity to the ocean, combined with a high concentration of sandstone, provide optimal growing conditions for Pinot Noir.

Tasting Notes: 
Our 2014 Les Voisins Pinot Noir showcases the stunning balance of the Anderson Valley. Rich and juicy flavors of fresh damson plum and raspberry are accented by  vanilla, warm toasted sugar and hard spices. The fruit is luscious, just ripe and mouthwatering. The juicy fresh red berry fruit is rounded out by notes of sweet herbs, bergamot, and dried tea leaves. This year’s blend is the perfect marriage of ripe fruits, delicate spice and earthy elements of a cool-climate Pinot Noir. Our 2014 vintage has a stunningly soft and elegant texture and is. This wine will continue to develop gracefully over the next 5 years. 

2014 Les Voisins Syrah
Retail Price: 36 Member Price: 30.60

Les Voisins Syrah originates from three vineyards in Yorkville Highlands that share not only a property line but also schist soils reminiscent of the northern Rhône. It is these soils that contribute to the spiciness and backbone of this Syrah. These vineyards are the source of three of our Single Vineyard bottlings. Fortunately, Wells Guthrie holds back a bit of fruit to blend together for Les Voisins. 

Tasting Notes: 
The 2014 Les Voisins Syrah is a shining example of a fantastic vintage in Yorkville Highlands. With a gorgeous deep purple color, this wine pleases on many levels. With lovely aromas of violets, black currant, and white pepper, the flavors of ripe wild blackberries, figs, and mocha combine for a deliciously satisfying wine. The palate is rich with black fruits, spice and cedar notes, backed by plush tannins that will be the perfect compliment to short ribs, lamb, and grilled ribeye. We recommend decanting for 1-2 hours before enjoying. 

2014 DuPratt Chardonnay 
Retail Price: 48.00 Member Price: 40.80

The small, five acre DuPratt vineyard sits on a ridge in Anderson Valley at an elevation of 1,550 feet, a few short miles from the charming seaside town of Elk. Planted in 1983 in upland timber sandstone soils, the fruit from this site distinctively reflects its mountainous locale, yielding wines with notable acidity and an appealing, rigid structure.

Tasting Notes:
The DuPratt vineyard is a shining example of old vine Chardonnay in Anderson Valley.  Teeming with compelling minerality, this site-driven Chardonnay is intoxicatingly aromatic; fresh lemon verbena, quince paste and orchard blossoms. Powerful and precise, the solid backbone and lively acidity lead to flavors of crisp green apple, grapefruit and fresh herbs.  Higher elevation and pronounced coastal influences have yielded this lean and vibrant Chardonnay a complex body and potential for long aging.  

Time Posted: Aug 30, 2016 at 8:52 AM
Copain Wines
 
January 22, 2016 | Copain Wines

Single Vineyard Wines for 2016

This is an exciting time of year at Copain. Each January, we unveil our Single Vineyard wines and by March, we get to share these wines with our friends. The 2016 release brings a few surprises. We hope you enjoy these wines for years to come. Please take a moment to verify your information. Simply click the Member Sign In link at the top of the page and select My Memberships and Edit Memberships. 

Fantastic Vintages

This year's release includes wines from the 2013 and 2014 vintages. Both of these vintages were wonderful to work with. The 2013 vintage offered a variety of conditions. A rather dry January gave way to normal winter rainfall. As warmer weather arrived, bud break occurred in early April. Following a moderate summer, the first week of September brought very warm weather, along with a corresponding rise in sugar and malic acid levels. We rushed to pick all our fruit, with Pinot Noir harvest starting on September 9. Our 2013 wines are evocative of our 2006 bottlings, displaying more texture and suppleness due to marginally higher pH levels.

The 2014 vintage started dry but abundant February rain came just in time to break the winter drought. Warm spring temperatures encouraged an early bud break that kept vineyard development ahead of schedule through the entire season. Our harvest was condensed beginning September 3rd and concluding on September 24th. For the first time, our Pinot Noir and Syrah harvest overlapped. Abundant sunshine and cool evenings created near ideal conditions for ripe and balanced wines with yields falling in the normal range.

2016 Spring Wines And A Surprise

Our spring release contains a special surprise for our Single Vineyard Members. We have included our Estate Trousseau as one of your wine selections. Copain has been working hard to increase the quantities of this delicious variety on our estate vineyards and we have added plantings of Trousseau along our fence lines in Anderson Valley. Even with the increased plantings, quantities are still very small and we ask that you limit your selection to 2 bottles of this wine.

2014 DuPratt Chardonnay 
Retail Price: 48 Member Price: 40.80

The small, five acre DuPratt vineyard sits on a ridge in Anderson Valley at an elevation of 1,550 feet, a few short miles from the charming seaside town of Elk. Planted in 1983 in upland timber sandstone soils, the fruit from this site distinctively reflects its mountainous locale, yielding wines with notable acidity and an appealing, rigid structure.

Tasting Notes: 
The DuPratt vineyard is a shining example of old vine Chardonnay in Anderson Valley.  Teeming with compelling minerality, this site-driven Chardonnay is intoxicatingly aromatic; fresh lemon verbena, quince paste and orchard blossoms. Powerful and precise, the solid backbone and lively acidity lead to flavors of crisp green apple, grapefruit and fresh herbs.  Higher elevation and pronounced coastal influences have yielded this lean and vibrant Chardonnay a complex body and potential for long aging. 

2013 Kiser 'En Haut' Pinot Noir 
Retail Price: 75 Member Price: 63.75

Situated 200 feet above the ‘En Bas’ parcel, the higher Kiser ‘En Haut’ block possesses more compressed sandstone than the lower blocks, and enjoys further depth from bands of schist permeating the soil. The combination of the two components gives the wine heady aromatics and notable minerality in both aroma and flavor.

Tasting Notes:
The upper parcel of our flagship Kiser vineyard continues to produce some of our most compelling and stunning Pinot Noirs. Rich garnet red and concentrated, Kiser en Haut is redolent of raspberry leaf, cassis and rose petal. The Kiser 'En Haut' maintains the finesse and grace of previous vintages. The palate is nuanced with fragrant plum, white tea, and chamomile with layers of dried leaves and graphite. Silky and seductive, the 2013 vintage is truly deserving of its reputation as one of our most sought-after Pinots.  

2014 Estate Trousseau Noir (Limited Selection) 
Retail Price: 42 Member Price: 35.70

Copain has had a long appreciation for the wines of the Jura region of eastern France. Trousseau is one of the native red grapes of the Jura, but almost unheard of in Californian vineyards. Copain has planted heritage clones of Trousseau grafted to an especially gravelly parcel of our estate vineyard in Healdsburg and along our fence lines of our vineyards in Anderson Valley.

Tasting Notes: 
Our 2014 release of Trousseau hails from our Healdsburg Estate and the fence line of our estate vineyards in the deep end of Anderson Valley. The wine is a beautiful marriage of the dark fruited earthy character of Anderson Valley, and the mineral-driven sandstone soil of our Russian River Valley hillside plot. With a light ruby red color, pronounced pink blossoms, morello cherry, and juniper aromas unfold. A lush, soft palate is delicately layered with fine tannins, which frame flavors of peppered strawberry, pomegranate and Earl Grey tea. Our 2014 Trousseau is very true to both the terroir of Anderson Valley and Russian River, as well as the vines’ French heritage. We are excited to see the evolution of this unique wine. 

2013 Hawks Butte Syrah 
Retail Price: 45 Member Price: 38.25

Perched 1,400 feet above the valley floor in the Yorkville Highlands, this Syrah vineyard is located just shy of the southeastern end of Anderson Valley. The vines have struggled to get a foothold in this feeble soil but are now rendering a truly site-specific wine.

Tasting Notes:
Profoundly aromatic with copious red apple, rose petal and California bay; the Hawks Butte Syrah offers a harmonious potpourri of juicy black currant, roses, and granite. With a deep purple color and rich concentration, the wine is stunning in the glass. Whole cluster fermentation allows the wine to obtain structure from stem tannin instead of oak, resulting in a lively, broad expressive wine with a soft, velvet texture and intense aromatics.  We recommend laying down for 3-5 years.

2013 Baker Ranch Syrah  
Retail Price: 55 Member Price: 46.75

Syrah is exceedingly hard in the Pinot Noir-centric Anderson Valley though Baker Ranch dared to plant it, and it deliver. Organically farmed and wonderfully expressive, this wine has proven itself a most welcome and unique addition to the Copain Syrah portfolio.

Tasting Notes:
One of our most desirable wines and approachable soon after release, the Baker Ranch Syrah is delicate in structure, with intense aromatics of violets, dried peppercorn, and savory black olive. The texture is broad and soft, with notable precision, acidity, and soft tannins. Notes of charred wood, Santa Rosa plums, and anise complete this enthrallingly aromatic wine that speaks both to the cool westerly vineyard in Anderson Valley and spirit of the Northern Rhône which is the inspiration.   

 

Time Posted: Jan 22, 2016 at 10:28 AM