What We Say 2008 Sangiacomo Vineyards Pinot Noir
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Mission Codename: Beyond the Stars
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate Calstar Cellars and raid their supply of their vineyard designate Pinot Noir from the fabled Sangiacomo vineyard
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Calstar Cellars
Wine Subject: 2008 Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard
Winemaker: Rick Davis
Backgrounder: The Sonoma Coast AVA is the 750 square mile area with the Pacific ocean on its western boundary, the San Pablo Bay to the south and Mendocino County to the north, headed inland to the other designated AVAs in Sonoma County. The region is heavily influenced by the cooler ocean climate, increased rainfall and fog that lingers long on the coastal mountains. The specific climate suits the demanding Burgundian varietal of Pinot Noir very well
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – With a look of perfectly clear, shimmering cherry Jell-o in color, this wine is gorgeous. With a tight surface that keeps spinning long after swirling, the wine eventually settles down, showing skinny legs that take a long time to appear before they crawl down the edges of the glass
Smell – This wine smells much darker than it looks, leading A initial bold rush of cherry leaps from the glass. This is followed by earthy young strawberry, dried flowers, black cherry, soft spice and soft gunpowder
Feel – Soft and round on entry, then quickly grippy as firm tannins take hold, adding complexity as it dries the lips and cheeks with flinty minerality
Taste – Bright and youthful with tart cherry, soft spice, young strawberry, soft fresh salad herbs and sweetwoods with white pepper and the softest hint of Indian black tea
Finish – Long and bright, this young wine finishes clean and long, leading with pronounced cherry, fresh herbs and peppery minerals that tail off tart and sweet
Conclusion – This is a delicious wine that shows off the great winemaking from a great vineyard source. Combine fantastic fruit with skilled winemaking and you sometimes get fantastic wine. Today’s wine delivers on this premise, by offering up a wine that is bright, juicy, complex and fun to drink. Youthful but ready to drink, decant for at least 30 minutes for a softer and more well-rounded drinking experience. Enjoy now or cellar for several years and pair the wine with almost anything.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Richard E. Davis (Rick)
DATE OF BIRTH: 03-55
PLACE OF BIRTH: Potsdam, NY
WINE EDUCATION: Worked in the industry since 1988 and asked a lot of questions
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Assistant Winemaker Flowers Vineyard 1997-1998 – Assistant Winemaker Smith and Hook Winery 1998-1999 – Assistant Winemaker Gainey Vineyard 2000 – Assistant Winemaker Tandem Winery 2001-2002, 2005 – Consulting Winemaker Londer Vineyards, Halleck Vineyards 2005-Present – Owner/Winemaker Calstar Cellars 2001-Present
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Let the grapes speak for themselves, coupled with good wine being the part of any meal
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Pinot Noir/ Chardonnay
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Several 90+ scores from the Wine Spectator for Londer Wines
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Getting to work with great Pinot Noir
WINEMAKER QUOTE: ”Show the vineyard not your winemaking”
AGENT RED: Greetings, Rick. We are thrilled to be showing your 2008 Sangiacomo Pinot Noir today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
RICK DAVIS: Thanks, Red.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
RICK: I’ve always loved to cook and came to appreciate how good wine could compliment food in college
RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
RICK: In my first job in the industry
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
RICK: Let the vineyards speak for themselves. My job is to showcase the fruit I’ve selected, not to dictate what it should taste like.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
RICK: My first boss, Jim Moss in combination w Greg LaFollette
RED: How long have you been making wine?
RICK: Since 1988
RED: Who do you make wine for?
RICK: I make wines I feel can stand on their own or pair with food. So, to a large extent for my palate, but in the end for people that love food and wine
RED: Tell me, what makes the Sonoma Coast region so special?
RICK: The cool mornings and evening that allow for slow ripening and development of multiple layers of flavors
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
RICK: Trust your own palate
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
RICK: Pinot Noir, what else!?
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
RICK: I love the combination of fruit and spice this vineyard has
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
RICK: Goat Cheeses or Lamb
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
RICK: Before I was working in the wine industry I made and sold handmade leather goods
RED:What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
RICK: Jaun Gill, Jumilla
RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
RICK: Trust your palate, find foods it pairs with for you
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
RICK: Tell me what’s for dinner and I’ll answer that
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
RICK: “What is your favorite wine to make?” I’d have to answer either Dry Gewurztraminer or sauvignon Blance because they’re so different from what else I make.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
RICK: Thank you!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the gorgeous Sangiacomo vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Dark ruby color with floral undertones and strawberry-spiced, earthy aromatics leading to a fruit-driven entry that yields to firm notes of ripe red cherry with integrated tannins and a long, lively finish.
Sangiacomo – Roberts Road Vineyard, Sonoma Coast – The Sonoma Coast is a world-renowned growing region known worldwide for its cool-climate Pinot Noir and microclimates that contribute to slow grape maturation and optimum ripeness. The well respected and highly sought after Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot Noir on Roberts Road is an elegant addition to the Calstar Cellars portfolio.
The Roberts Road Vineyard, located at the northern end of the Petaluma Gap with cobbled alluvial soil and bench deposits, has proven itself to be the ideal location influenced by morning fog, warm days and strong afternoon winds leaving the grapes plenty of hang time and development of distinct flavors.
This premier vintage from the Sangiacomo family’s Roberts Road Vineyard enjoys the artful combination of California ripeness and European style.
About The Winery:
Calstar Cellars began in 2001 with the goal of producing exclusive, hand-crafted wines with a food-friendly focus. In order to achieve this goal, Proprietor and Winemaker, Rick Davis, selects the highest quality fruit from award winning vineyards with site-specific character in Northern California. We hope you enjoy our wines as much as we enjoy producing them!
About The Winemaker:
Rick Davis, Proprietor & Winemaker – A life-long interest in fine food and artisan craft led, Proprietor and Winemaker, Rick Davis to the wine industry. With graduate work in soil sciences and his first experience as a cellar-hand for Rivendell Winery, a small winery in New Paltz, NY, he quickly learned the trade and excelled to Winemaker. In order to pursue this newfound passion, his move to Sonoma County, CA left him in the perfect place to master winemaking and focus on Pinot Noir.
Rick has spent 20 years improving his process through experiences with Flowers Winery under Winemaker, Greg LaFollette, and as Consulting Winemaker with Londer Vineyards, Halleck Vineyards, La Czar Vineyards, and Alcina Cellars and developed Calstar Cellars, his own label, as an extension of these relationships.
He specializes in cool climate varietals like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and has worked with many of the top producers on the Sonoma Coast. Rick’s passion is to produce high quality, food-friendly wines that can be shared at every table knowing the bounty of the vine.
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Clonal Selection: 115
Harvest Date: October 6, 2008
Aging: 30% New, 80% French, 20% Hungarian
Production: 60 cases
TA: 5.66 g/L
Release Date: September 15, 2009