2018 il Campo Bianco, Paso Robles (Falanghina (65%,) with Pinot Grigio (25%), and Vermentino (10%))
Following a number of years that could easily be described as out of the ordinary in one way or another, the 2018 harvest brought us back to a much more predictable and typical Paso Robles vintage. Later harvest dates and a longer growing season gave the components of our il Campo Bianco plenty of flavorful exuberance while still maintaining their fresh acididty. These grapes were crushed, destemmed, and soaked on their skins for a few hours. Small-basket pressed into stainless steel, and fermented naturally.
Our requisite springtime white, this wine is perfect as the weather warms. Orange blossom, quince and curry highlight the aromatics with jasmine, lime leaf, and a light herbal impression framing the bright and refreshing palate. It’s known around here as Stephy’s “porch pounder.”
2017 Il campo Rosso, Paso Robles
Always blended to display a signature house style, the il Campo red marries bright fruit and fresh acidity with a richly textured, medium-weight body. Eschewing new oak or any other cellar intervention gives us an ideal representation of the vintage in a food-friendly, easy-drinking style.
Our most approachable wine shows bright aromatic notes of cherry, balsamic and thyme. More cherry resides on the palate with fresh Italian herbs and a touch of spice. This everyday drinker is easy on the palate with good acidity and enough structure to hold up to any simple Italian meal.
nose of bright cherry, balsamic, and fresh thyme/palate of cherry, Italian herbs, and a light, enjoyable spice
2018 Fiano, Paso Robles
Clean and stony, our Fiano lends itself to a simple stainless-steel fermentation and maturation in the cellar. The 2018 was sourced from two neighboring vineyards in northwest Paso Robles that produce intensely flavorful fruit with plentry of lively acidity. Destemmed and crushed in the early a.m., the grapes are left to soak on its skins for a few hours before a delicate basket pressing. It then proceeds untouched through alcoholic and partial malolactic fermentation, then filtered and bottled in mid February.
Along with its red Campanian cousin Aglianico, Fiano is entirely suited to the southern Italian-like warm and dry climate of Paso Robles. Intense aromas of honey, almond and red licorice weave through fruit notes of melon, and orange peel. The structured palate balances firm acidity with flavors of honey and asian pear, finishing with saline minerality.
2018 Vermentino, Paso Robles
Similar to our approach with Fiano, we think that Vermentino can be most expressive when we interfere as little as possible in the cellar. Native fermentation proceeds slowly in small stainless steel barrels, preserving bright aromatic fruit notes typical of this variety grown in warm climates.
Fresh and exotic marzipan, grapefruit, and honeysuckle aromas interweave with flavors of lemon rind and pineapple. Lingering fruit coats the palate with a long, spicy finish.
2017 Ramato, San Luis Obispo
Ramato is an Italian term that represents Pinot Grigio fermented on its skins. Our version goes through a typical red wine fermentation with twice-daily punch- downs (followed by extended 90 day maceration) in our Italian amphorae. Not truly rosé, its pink hues veer towards the copper color that the name Ramato implies. Bottled unfiltered after 9 months in terra cotta. Bassi Ranch Vineyard is located in Avila Beach and owned by one of our dearest friends, Pinot Noir virtuoso Mike Sinor.
An enticing nose of melon, apricot and dried flowers highlight our sixth vintage of Ramato. The palate carries notes of plum, peach tea and ginger. Finely structured fruit and acidity are framed with just a hint of tannin.
2018 Barbera, Paso Robles
Filled with zest and juiciness, Barbera satisfies much of northern Italy's thirst for a delicious daily drinker. After fermentation in large-format oak casks and stainless steel, ours ages for a few brief months before early spring bottling. This captures the exuberant, juicy and fresh fruit character of perfectly ripe Barbera.
Glowing bright magenta with aromatics of wild strawberries, iron, and oregano. The palate is punchy (in both senses of the word) with vibrant boysenberry and anise, and thai basil followed with earthy mushroom notes and waves of brisk, white-wine like acidity.
2016 Nebbiolo, Luna Matta Vineyard
Our Nebbiolo pays homage to the Great wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. It matures for about 24 months in oak and over 6 months in bottle prior to release. It is well structured and built to age. Utilizing a lengthy post-fermentation maceration on its skins, its formidable tannin is refined to a cellar-worthy, yet immediately approachable profile. Constant attention to these vines over so many harvests gives Stephy a one-of-a-kind perspective on this rather unique location. The soils mirror those of great properties in Piedmont, and as the vines age we are seeing more and more Nebbiolo character emerge in our finished wine.
2016 is regarded as one of the best in Paso Robles yet. Classic, unmistakable Nebbiolo aromatics of dried flowers, earth, spice and tar compete with beautifully restrained fruit. Sun tea, hibiscus, dried herbs, and tobacco notes echo on the palate.
2016 Sangiovese, Luna Matta Vineyard
Organically-farmed Brunello clones of Sangiovese (Sangiovese Grosso) develop remarkably thick skins and color in the rocky calcareous soils of Luna Matta Vineyard. Cool fermentation and foot stomping facilitates the gentle extraction of color and tannin from these small-berried Sangiovese clones. Aged for 18 months in Gamba French-oak barrels, 25% of which were new.
Our Sangiovese is generally one of the most powerful and complex produced in California. The 2016 is serious sangiovese, with aromas of blueberries, pencil lead, and sage. The palate turns toward black cherry, with bay leaf, nutmeg, and minerals. The texture is rich with substantial yet polished tannins and acidity. Should have very rewarding cellar potential.
2017 Aglianico, French Camp Vineyard
Our block of Aglianico at French Camp Vineyard thrives in one of the warmest sections of the Paso Robles AVA. Nevertheless, it is often the last fruit to be picked in any given harvest, it ripens slowly, and retains beautiful freshness and acidity at relatively low sugars. Thick-skinned and intense, its brooding dark fruit dominates flavors produced early in fermentation. As the intensity subsides, floral and nuanced spice aromas emerge.
Our 2017 French Camp Aglianico is quite bright and full of fruit. The nose has violet, rosemary, tomato leaf, black fizzy raspberry. Leather, peppercorn, and loganberry brighten the vivid and lively palate.
2016 Aglianico, Luna Matta Vineyard
The darkest, thickest-skinned fruit we see in the winery each year, Aglianico from Luna Matta can be a tannic, unyielding beast. We temper the extraction of its coarse nature with a slow, cool native fermentation followed by weeks of post-fermentation maceration on skins encouraging tannin maturity and elegance.
A study in extremes, this year’s Luna Matta Aglianico is another blockbuster-styled westside Paso red. We’ve slightly shifted our winemaking technique (very delicate extraction, extended maceration, etc.) over the years to tame the beast inside this wine, yet it remains every bit the highlight of intensity in our lineup. The 2016 version follows in the exotic and intense steps of its predecessors. It starts with nose of iron, roses, peppercorn, and sandalwood. The palate is dense with dark fruit - blackberry, cinnamon, oregano and leather. Rich, chewy, and stacked on the palate with loads of tannin and acidity.
2016 Gemellaia, Paso Robles
Gemellaia is a barrel selection from our finest lots in the winery. Super Tuscan inspired, it melds Sangiovese’s acid and tannin structure with the soft, generous fruit of Merlot and Petit Verdot.
With Gemellaia, we draw from modern Italian wines for our inspiration, utilizing the highest percentage (roughly 50%) of new barriques in our lineup. The 2016 places two fantastic Merlot sites at the forefront, harnessing the richness and immediacy of the fruit while Sangiovese adds balance with acidity and tannin. This new Gemellaia has very complex aromatics highlighted by amaretto, licorice, earth and light caramel. The palate is round with soft tannins and a long finish seeped in intense flavors of cherry, espresso, and sweet tobacco.