Two Shepherds, Skin-Fermented Pinot Gris 2021, Sonoma Valley, CA
A bright reddish orange, this wine has a pleasing bouquet of fruit on the nose, with ripe peach, melon, quince, and plum jam. It’s light to medium bodied, with a deep concentration of plum and cooked fruit, with some zip and grip to boot. It turns a tad savory in its long finish.
APPELLATION (AVA): Sonoma Valley
VINEYARD: Clarbec Vineyard
GRAPES: Pinot Gris
SOIL: gravel and loam
VINIFICATION: De-stemmed, crushed and left on the skins for five days before pressed into neutral French oak to finish primary fermentation. Malolactic fermentation and aged on the lees for five months. Unfined and unfiltered.
COLOR: Reddish orange
PRIMARY AROMAS: ripe peach, apricot, melon, quince, plum jam plum, pear
FLAVOR: plum, cooked fruit, zippy, slightly grippy, and a tad savory at the finish
SERVICE AND SUGGESTION: Serve chilled. Pair with chicken braised with apricots and prunes, served over polenta.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER: Two Shepherds is the genesis of long-time garagiste winemaker William Allen. After years of extolling his love of Rhone wines and winemaking practices of balance and elegance, William decided to expand upon his years of garage wine making and hands-on harvest experience to make commercially available the style of wines he was championing. Thus Two Shepherds was born – making wines that “shepherd” grapes gently into non-manipulated and balanced old world style wines. Allen employs a natural winemaking philosophy in his cellar. The process of wine making occurs naturally, and as a winemaker, Two Shepherds role is to guide it along, protect it from harm, and otherwise not intervene. The wines are fermented with native yeast with no additives of any kind, native malolactic fermentations, aged on the lees, minimally racked and are 13- 14% alcohol, with high, food friendly acidity. These are old world-leaning, elegant wines focused on bright acidity, texture, and mouth feel. All wines are aged in used, neutral barrels that impart no oak characteristics, but subtly enhance the wines’ texture, mouth feel, and flavor concentration.
ABOUT THE VINEYARD: Clarbec Vineyard.
“Planted 25 years ago in a cooler section of Sonoma Valley, on classic Sonoma gravel and loam—formerly an ancient creek bed that left a lot of gravel—providing excellent drainage. Dry- and organically-farmed by the 4th generation of the Clarbec family.” (ozwinecompany.com)
ABOUT THE LABEL: The wine label depicts the donkeys at Two Shepherds. From the winemakers: “We honor our mini-Sicilian donkeys, Dolce and Sofia, with this wine. They protect our goats, eat weeds in our vineyard, and—reflective of their heritage—inspired this wine. Hee haw!”