Letter from the Winemaker

I am super stoked about the amazing wines in the Fall Release!



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Hello Copain Friends,

We have just begun another harvest here at Copain and we are grateful to see grapes from the new vintage arrive to the winery. Mother Nature has given us a cool growing season with smaller than usual yields. In my experience, small yields point to exciting, complex wines, so I am very much looking forward to this year. You can expect elegant & concentrated wines from us in 2021.

Speaking of elegant & concentrated wines, I just finished putting together our fall release and I am super excited to tell you about it.  There are 6 wines in this allocation for you to choose from plus one library re-release that I am stoked for you to try. 

Starting with the 2017 DuPratt Chardonnay from Anderson Valley. If you missed out on this wine the first time, some extra time in the cellar has been time well spent for this wine.  It has entered its drinking window and is delicious right now; it has a great energy and it is just getting started – let it rip!  I paired this high energy wine with a new release, the 2019 Skycrest Chardonnay.  Also from Anderson Valley, this rising star of a vineyard is coming into maturity with this vintage. It is the first time we have noticed a slight tropical vibe to the wine.  There is just the right bit of pineapple and papaya on the palate. You will notice a similar throughline in our Anderson Valley Chardonnays – they all have chalky tannins that boost the structure of the wine and give it great posture.

Moving on to the Pinot Noirs in this release – all I can say is wow! Historically, I’ve claimed 2009 to be my favorite vintage of all time, but the 2019 is showing signs that it may supplant the '09s! It has that “It" factor, an intangible quality that just stands above the others.

First up is the 2019 Abel Vineyard from the deep end of Anderson Valley. This wine is elegant and intense all at the same time. The aromas are inexplicably wild with exotic tones of citrus, wild berries and fresh herb.  Without a doubt this wine will intensify with time in the cellar. That being said, I can't help myself with this wine. I want to open it now! Next up is Abel’s sibling from the far Sonoma Coast, the 2019 SeaLift Pinot Noir.  This is an exciting and downright delicious Pinot Noir. It’s showing intense red fruit flavors of cherry compote, pureed strawberries and conifer on the palate that make this a tenacious and exciting wine.  

The 2018 Brosseau Syrah from this iconic, organically certified vineyard in the Chalone appellation is certainly the most generous wine in this release. It is hedonistic with assertive tannins, deep color, and layers upon layers of flavor. It is meaty, spicy, and loaded with notes of fig, blackberry and crushed granite. When looking into the glass this wine would fool you into thinking it is a monster, however it is light on its feet and very fresh.  

The 2018 High Rock Ranch Syrah is less tannic than in years past, so you should drink it in the next five years or so. But its fruit driven, plush mouthfeel is a nice contrast to the Brosseau Syrah. On the nose I detect blueberry, crushed rock, and ripe raspberry while the palate is punchy and quite friendly with flavors of blackberry, dried chorizo and black olive.

And last, but certainly not least, we have a library release of our 2016 Maggy Hawk Pinot Noir.  This wine is aplomb. With a few years in the cellar, it has matured into a rustic wine with hints of mushroom, rosemary, and tea. As it opens up, the fruit is unleashed with wild strawberries, blueberry and raspberry coming out of the glass.  Fall is a transition season and the 2016 Maggy Hawk is an old-school Pinot Noir that screams for classic fall pairings; roasted root vegetables, salmon, Five-Spice Korean Short Ribs, Beef Stroganoff. If you missed out on this wine when it was first released in 2018, I encourage you to get some this time around! The quantity is super limited, and you may not get the opportunity again.

I really hope you enjoy these wines as much as I enjoyed making them!

Ryan Zepaltas


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