We made seven wines from Southern California vineyards in this, our first vintage in Los Angeles. These wines will appear under a new label, as will all of our future wines from the Southland: the label of the Los Angeles River Wine Company.
We are offering the wines to you in a single package, to reflect and represent the whole of our work this year. Each of these wines is a first for us-- we have never worked with any of the vineyards, and did not even know that most of them existed a year ago. Each bottling represents the partial resolution of a mystery-- we now know at least one kind of wine we can make from each vineyard, and how good it can be-- but we have no idea of the future of each wine.
That future begins now.
We produced only one or two barrels of each of these wines. We are limiting this offer to 75 packages of these wines; we are reserving the remaining few bottles for our library. We will send you one bottle each of every wine except the first below, and two bottles of that wine.
If you are in Southern California, I will endeavor to deliver this to you, contact-less of course, by hand.These are the wines:
Pecorino from the Ponte Vineyard in Temecula. 50% skin-fermented, 50% juice.
The name stands for "Modified Emidio Pepe Pecorino Protocol"-- named for the wine of one our heroes, and the touchstone for our success in this wine.
We are sending you 2 bottles of this wine.
2019 Raisin City
Incredible bio-dynamically farmed, own-rooted, Palomino from the infinite deserts of Fresno.
2019 Lopez Rosé
Not white at all, but we tried: a deeply colored rosé made from Zinfandel from Lopez. Foot-stomping and 3 hours of skin-contact released all of the color. The wine has the flavor and presence of a white wine in spite of its appearance.
2019 Lopez Red
100% Zinfandel, planted in 1920 in the Cucamonga Valley just east of Los Angeles. Growing in deep sand, on their own roots, farmed organically and without irrigation. The vineyard is a natural treasure, preserved by the wonderful Galleano family.
2019 Galleano Home
An incredible blend of ancient own-rooted vines, planted by the Galleano in 1920 for Port and Sherry production. One-third each Alicante Bousquet, Salvador, and white fruit: Palomino, Mission, and Rose of Peru. Harvested by us on the hottest day of the year, foot-stomped, co-fermented.
(An Alicante vine at Galleano pictured to the left.)
2019 Lone Wolf
The treasure of our harvest. We found an own-rooted Mission vineyard, planted in 1912, and abandoned around 1960. Some vines pruned once or twice since then, almost no wine made. For sixty years. This is the first public release of a wine made from the vineyard since Prohibition.
Mission is a strange, nearly wild, grape imported and propagated by the Spanish colonists as they moved North from Chile and Peru through Mexico and California. The grape is highly variable, with a complex and untamed genetic heritage. The Mission vineyards all over California differ strongly from each other-- there was no such thing as a UC Davis clone of Mission when these vineyards were planted.
The variety tends to produce lightly colored pink or cherry red grapes, with tiny berries on loose clusters. The fruit, seeds, and stems are all highly tannic. For this reason, the grapes have always been made mostly into white wine or very lightly colored rosé. We destemmed 70% of fruit, stomped on almost all of it, and then allowed everything to ferment together for nearly 3 weeks. The result is a lightly colored red wine that smells and tastes like nothing you have ever encountered. It is graceful and energetic in the mouth-- but shockingly tannic. It is a real wine of meditation and reflection.
2019 Riverside Red
We made 1.5 barrels of Lone Wolf and did not want to leave the second barrel half full. After a few weeks of letting it develop on its own, we tried to top it with a combination of Kirschenmann Zinfandel, Lopez Zinfandel, and Pecorino. But as we filled the barrel and kept tasting it, we decided that the new wines were swamping the delightfully strange Mission-- and stopped topping. This blend is about 50% Lone Wolf and it is good and interesting-- a wine more of the cellar than any particular vineyard.