HI, FRIENDS. WE'RE OPEN FOR IN-STORE BROWSING TUES-SUN, 10AM-6PM. (STILL DOING PICKUP & DELIVERY, TOO.) HI, FRIENDS. WE'RE OPEN FOR IN-STORE BROWSING TUES-SUN, 10AM-6PM. (STILL DOING PICKUP & DELIVERY, TOO.)

Inconnu

'Alaric' Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

$62.00

'Alaric' Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Inconnu

'Alaric' Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

$62.00

A few years back I responded to a post about a four acre vineyard of 70s quad planted Cabernet Sauvignon, with a little hillside of Cabernet Franc in the Russian River. As a winemaker in constant search of terroir that matches my desire for expression of a grape, I was elated, and drove out the same day to 'handshake deal' taking all of it. 

The parcel is buried back in the hills of the Russian River, just off of Westside Road. It's on the Bacigalupi property, and was being farmed by Dairy Man, turned grape farmer, John Bucher - better known for growing Pinot Noir. John agreed reluctantly to farm no till organic for a payment increase, and we spent a couple years sending articles back and forth debating farming practices. 

Traveling up and down the gravel road to get to this forgotten Cabernet Sauvignon oasis felt much like entering a secret garden, or traveling back to a California I never got to know, but have simultaneously remonised. The Rows are nearly 10 feet wide, six foot spacing between plants, an old creek bed beside it that for most of the year ran dry, and a lovely little tree house hiding in the camouflage of brush on the Eastern slope. 

I fell deeply in love with this vineyard, in a way that you never want to love something that does not belong to you. 

I made the wine in 18 and 19, and it expressed all of the things I could have ever wished to say about California, and its subtlety - its subtlety that has been replaced with a uniformity to gautiness. The wine was bright and brambly, with a bloody depth, and had floral, almost pomegranate quality, all encapsulated in the dusty earthy smell of cooler climate well placed Cabernet. 

In 2020 the vineyard was covered in ashes from the fires near Westside Road, and the grapes were destroyed. In January of 2021, John Bucher contacted me to inform me that he was planning to pull it up, as it was too much of a pain to farm Cab Sauv, as it ripens much later than his Pinot Noir, and that at 3-4 tons an acre, it was no longer worth it. I opted not to torture myself by making the wine this year, and instead to continue to seek out these special places that remind me why I love wine. 

In Barrel for 18 months, twice used barrels, 95ish cab, 5ish cab franc, single vineyard, fermentation is long and slow, as yans (yeast assimilable nitrogens) are low since it is an old vineyard. 
-Laura Brennan Bissell