Russian River Valley
Aid and Succor
By nurturing ones physical, mental, and spiritual health we can find our true potential. This wine was created with these fundamental human needs in mind - for us, and for others.
In our search to find cooler-climate Grenache we happened upon this little vineyard on Fitch Mountain near the town of Healdsburg. A small 2.5 acre vineyard organically farmed by my colleague Kate Nowell-Smith, it has a certain charm to the gentle slopes and natural farming. We wanted to create a wine that was lusher, as well as fruit-forward to contrast with the more serious “Unfamiliar Truth” bottling. Thus came “Aid and Succor”. These grapes were allowed to get fairly ripe, but because of the cooler climate they kept a fair amount of acidity. We picked the wine in late September and fermented them in an open top tank. We implemented more pump overs than with our other Grenache, to coax out the forward fruits. Once we extracted enough tannins we quickly pressed off the wine and transferred it to neutral french oak barrels. Here is where the wine gently aged for 15 months followed by a clean rack to tank prior to bottling. In this vintage we added to the spice profile and color with a dollop of Petite Sirah from our Suisun Valley vineyard to round out this delicious wine.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes
A gorgeous hue of garnet with the slightest haze let’s you know this wine is not filtered. The aromas are brimming with white pepper, cured ham, and sage. It opens to show hints of saddle leather, tobacco, a subtle spicy strawberry and pomegranate with just a smidge of rustic cacao. It is more spicy than fruity, but within the next few months it will blossom into a strawberry pie. As I begin to see after a while in the glass, the fruits become dominant with macerated strawberry, black cherry and red plums. On the palate the wine has ample structure of firm tannins and appropriate acidity. The fruits are darker here…blueberry, blackberry with a nice weight that balances with the structural components.
Enjoy from now to 2030
Elevation: 150 feet above sea level
Soil: Clay loam
Slope and Aspect: East facing, 5% slope
Fermentation: 100% destemmed, 7-day cold soak, 7-day fermentation, 8-day post-fermentation maceration
Aging: neutral 225 liter french oak barrels for 15 months, racked once
Production: 75 cases bottled March 18th, 2018, not fined nor filtered