This wine is a co-fermentation of Merlot and Sangiovese from a remarkable hillside vineyard in Martinez, high up and overlooking the Carquinez Straights. The vineyard is small but very complex, with at least 7 distinct sections: some of them are very steeply sloping, one of them is the flat at the crown of the hill, the rest are all separate and moderately sloping All of them have very light, pebbly soil due to marine uplifts from what is now the bay at the foot of the hill. Most of the vines struggle mightily; the steep hillside produces in every year the smallest and most intense berries that we harvest from any vineyard, anywhere.
We bottled the 750s and magnums of this wine in 2018, but saved 5 gallons in glass for even bigger bottles. I decided only in October 2023 that the wine was ready for bottling. We are making 3 2.25 liter bottles and 8 more 1.5 liter bottles.
A note on the name: “Pergamos” is the name of the hill on which the ancient city of Troy was built. the Van der Kous household stands alone on top of this noble thill that looks over the water; I could not help but think of Priam and Hector’s hillside city in the Iliad. As I write this, i am in South Bend, Indiana, where I going to give an academic paper tomorrow on the Iliad.