current releases

Home/current releases
  • Pommard, La Tâche and Swan clones / 400 cases produced / 13.8 ABV We source the grapes from Old Road #3 Vineyard in the Petaluma Gap, farmed by Andrew Flocchini. Characterized by heavy morning fog and blustery afternoon winds, this sustainably-farmed vineyard is about 5 miles north of San Pablo Bay. The marine influence is evident in the wine—a cool-climate Pinot, with naturally high acid and delicate, elegant aromas and flavors. We harvested the 2018 at night and by hand on August 26th. It was separated by clone and field section into half-ton bins. There were 19 bins total; from these, two to four of each clone are selected to be fermented independently and the rest are co-fermented. After years of trial with various yeast strains and vessels we now ferment everything with native yeast, punching down twice a day. We age the resulting wine in neutral barrels, touching it as little as possible before being bottled, unfined, in the summer of 2019. Proximity to the sea and cold weather gives the wine edge and dimension, and our goal is to preserve the delicate floral and herbal aromatics as much as possible. On the nose, I get baking spice, fresh bing cherries, orange zest, violets, and anise. The palate is bright and focused, with more red fruit (raspberry, cherry, cranberry) in the mid-palate, and a touch of bittersweet chocolate and tannin at the finish. This wine is a baby, and will develop more savory and earthy notes with bottle age. If you can’t wait, it’s perfect on its own (aren’t you?) after a short decanting, marvellous with grilled wild salmon or a charcuterie plate of aged cheeses, duck rillette, and dried fruit. Drink from now through 2025.        
  • Head-trained Zinfandel / Alexander Valley / 200 cases produced / 13.2 ABV  Remember White Zinfandel? How could you forget? (or maybe you'd like to) That serendipitous accident back in the 70's brought fortune and fame to a few, and inadvertently saved some of California's oldest vineyards. It also gave the wine a bad rep, but who doesn't love a checkered past? Fast forward to now, and while that old-school sweet style of White Zinfandel is still widely consumed and often derided, California Zinfandel is typically made as a dry, bold red wine with good spice and ample fruit. It can also produce a pale salmon-colored dry rosé with stone fruit flavors and mouthwatering acidity. We made the Carpenter rosé from a couple tons of old head pruned Zinfandel grown on Alexander Valley Road midway between Healdsburg and Geyserville. We picked the grapes at about 22 brix and made the wine quickly to preserve the freshness, using whole clusters, racking after 48 hours, then cold-fermenting, racking again after fermentation completed. The wine settled for ~3 months and was bottled in February, 2020. Fresh, bright and like spring in a glass.  It reminds me a little of biting into the season's first giant, salted wedge of watermelon. Or a just-ripe nectarine with a whisper of white pepper (no, I don't pepper my nectarines, but you get the gist). To me, rosé is about pleasure and not to be taken too seriously. This wine is seriously delicious. Quaffable. It goes with porches, pools, green fields and beaches, a BLT or BLAT, pasta and pesto, pizza, all the salty apero snacks. Y'aura-t-il assez de rosé cet été? In other words, stock up before it's gone.    
  • #3 Clone / 83 cases prodcued / 13.6 ABV  Stone Vineyard, Alexander Valley The 2018 is our sixth vintage of Sémillon. We grow this Bordeaux varietal along the banks of Maacama Creek at the Stone Vineyard, a spot characterized by volcanic soils and cool, moderate temperatures for Alexander Valley. We've farmed this vineyard since 1972, and it is well-suited to produce white wines with pronounced mineral character and intense aromas. What we have learned about harvesting this grape at this site is that we invariably get some over-ripe bunches and almost-ripe bunches along with the perfect ones (ie it develops a little unevenly), but this works in the finished wine's favor. More exotic perfume comes from the former and needed acidity from the latter. Tasted April 2020: Bright platinum color; obvious viscosity. Bartlett pear and lemon blossom layered with river rock, honey, cashew. There is a touch of yeastiness from 3 months of lees contact - almost a fresh cheesey-ness. It has Sémillon's signature rich, waxy texture on the palate and a citrusy, flinty flavor from start to finish. Savor this with some choice documentary, along with a composed salad of beets, goat cheese, walnuts and butter lettuce, perhaps. Quality tinned fish and crackers works, too. I’m becoming a fan of pantry “cooking.” Necessity breeds creativity; we can swap stories later, preferably over a glass of wine. Sémillon ages well, and I encourage you to hang on to a bottle to experience a different, evolved wine in a year or two. The edges will soften, with the minerality receding to show more honey character and a touch of petrol. Yum.
  • 70 cases produced / 13.0 ABV “There are few more civilized pleasures in life than good company, good food and good wine.” — Joe Swan Swan is a Heritage clone, named for Joseph Swan, a pioneer of Pinot Noir in Sonoma County during the late 1960’s and 70’s. Swan’s vineyard near Forestville on Laguna Road, originally planted to Zinfandel, was budded over to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on the advice of his friend and mentor André Tchelistcheff. It performed well from the get-go. Neighbors in the Russian River Valley were quick to “borrow” clippings and plant “Swan” in their own vineyards. In 1974, Francis Mahoney and Curtis Alley gathered budwood from Swan and performed trials at Carneros Creek with other American-bred clonal selections. In 1996, Mahoney gave the five best cuttings, called Heritage clones, to FPMS and the one from Swan was named UCD97 (aka FPS97). Where the original vines came from is not clear. Swan never kept any written records, but Mahoney did, and he traced the cuttings from an experimental vineyard in Oakville in 1959 to Martin Ray, who allegedly brought them down from Mount Eden from the “old” Paul Masson vineyards, whereby they initially came over from Romanée Conti. No one will know for sure, but it makes a good story, and one cannot argue that the Swan clone is a solid choice for cool-climate appellations. It is known to produce bright and rich Pinot Noir, lighter in color than many other clones, with intense aromatics and an elegant, earthy character. The Swan clone was handpicked on the night of August 25th, 2016, from the Old Road #3 Vineyard in the dual appellation of Petaluma Gap and Sonoma Coast. The lot was partially whole-cluster fermented (roughly 20%) using native yeast, and left to ferment slowly at low temps. It was sent to age in neutral French oak, touched as little as possible, and bottled in January 2018. Tasted in April 2020:  It’s like a quiet storm in my glass. Lots of fruit, but not jammy. Forward aromas of anise and red cherry. Bright acidity. A little potpourri, cranberry, tea leaves. Some eucalyptus and spearmint notes, and a savory finish. Zingy all the way through. Silky texture. Pair with simple crostini of roasted tomatoes, fresh ricotta and herbs - I like a mixture of thyme, parsley, and dill. Dolmas are a good match, too. Open now through 2023.
  • 65 cases produced / 13.3 ABV Old Road #3 Vineyard, Petaluma Gap/Sonoma Coast The 2016 La Tâche has a textbook rose and wild strawberry nose, a silky texture, and high-toned mouthwatering fruit. It's clean and pretty. When I sipped it recently, I was reminded of all the plums. Let me explain: fresh red plums, soft dried prune plums (or French plums, if you want to be fancy), and salty pickled plums. There is a freshness up front, then a more plush and developed character comes in mid-palate, ending with a hit of salinity. As you sit with the wine, it will offer up many more flavors and smells, some hard to put your finger on - forest floor? potting soil? - or define - what flower? - and I am fine with that. Season 3 of Ozark, anyone? For dinner, I would pair it with a wild mushroom risotto or pasta primavera. Drink now through 2022.
  • #4 and Dijon Clones / 213 cases Produced / 14.2 ABV The 2019 Stone Vineyard Chardonnay is so fresh that if you pop a bottle now, you won’t be able to push the cork back in. Just finish that bottle. Coming from our family’s original vineyard planted in 1972, we have sold these grapes to many esteemed producers over the years. We’re now keeping the best lots for ourselves, and the Carpenter Chard comes mainly from the Gravel Bar Block, a swath of vineyard that was once part of Maacama Creek, a 7.3-mile-long tributary of the Russian River. It's often socked in with morning fog and cooled by afternoon breezes. As Jake says, It’s virtually impossible to make anything but delicious wine from this site. After two nights of hand-picking in early September, we fermented 8 barrels, 3 going through malolactic fermentation. The wine rested on the lees in neutral French oak for 5 months, and was bottled in February 2020. I get a ton of ripe, green fruit and citrus - green apple, kiwi, tangerine - along with some tropical floral top notes. Jasmine. Plumeria. Again, there’s a mineral streak throughout—the Stone Vineyard signature. It’s crisp and fragrant and has the body to hold up to, but not overpower, whatever you're quaranteating or that Zoom conversation you're having at 4:30. May I suggest you make some homemade French onion dip to pair with your favorite kettle cooked potato chips? The recipe couldn't be easier: slowly sauté thinly sliced yellow onions in butter until soft and brown (about 2 will do, don't forget to salt). Let cool, then combine with a scant pint of sour cream or creme fraiche and some chopped fresh thyme or parsley. Press join, snack and sip away. Drink now or hold for 1-3 years.
  • Out of stock
    We’re thoughtfully sipping, tasting notes coming soon.
  • 150 cases produced / 13.7 abv Orsi Vineyard, Mendocino County  Thoughtfully SIPping, tasting notes coming soon...    
  • 62 Cases Produced / 13.3% ABV Of the several hundred clones of Pinot Noir in existence, the Pommard clone was among the first to be brought over legally from France. In the 1940’s, Dr. Harold Olmo, known as the “Plant Explorer” for his dedication to discovery, imported cuttings from Château de Pommard, the largest holding in the commune of Pommard. One of these became the basis for UCD4 and its heat-treated cousins UCD5 and 6. (A heat-treated vine is one grown in a superheated environment so it grows faster than a virus can replicate.) These latter two vines were distributed by FPMS (Foundation Plant Material Service, now called FPS) in the early 60’s, and were widely planted throughout Oregon and California in the 60’s and 70’s. Pommard is respected for good color, intense fruit, considerable spice, and perhaps most notably, luxurious mouthfeel. We source the Pommard clone from Old Road #3 Vineyard, planted by Andrew Flocchini in 2002. This cool site at the southern edge of Sonoma Coast—the Petaluma Gap region—has sandy-loam soil, and tends to produce wines that are light and elegant. We harvested the grapes in late August, fermented with about 1/4 whole clusters, gave them a 48-hour cold soak with twice-daily hand punch downs, then racked the wine to neutral French barrels. No fining and minimal filtering was employed. We bottled just over 3 barrels in early January of 2018. The nose of the 2016 Carpenter Pommard is full and rich, with intense aromas of cinnamon stick, dried mushrooms, and black plums. Juicy and spicy, with a velvety texture, the wine fills the palate, hitting all the notes: bitter, salty, sweet, acidic, and umami-esque. The fruit is more blue-black than red—wild blueberries, damson plums—and the finish is slightly bitter with notes of dark chocolate. This makes me want to make my dad's favorite Italian dish, Eggplant Parmesan, and pop on Good Fellas. Drink now or hold for 3-4 years.