At a roughly 900 foot elevation near Philo, Roland and Barbara Wentzel’s10-acre vineyard is organically farmed within an expansive 300+ acre forested property.
The particular plot of land that we get our fruit from is called “the clos,” as it is a fenced-in block situated up the hill. It’s a tiny block – less than an acre – that consists of vines transplanted three years ago from a lower block that had poorly drained soil that promoted excessive vine vigor. The block has a north-south rows with a west orientation, terraced up a steep hillside, so the grapes benefit from the long afternoon sunlight, tempered by cool offshore breezes.

The clos at Wentzel Vineyard has Dijon clones 114, 115, 667 and 777 – all within a block that is less than an acre. In 2011, the growing season was cool and long, with a few twists and turns, including late harvest rains and bears. A small bear, looking for ripe fruit, found our block and had his way with a fair amount of our fruit. Luckily, Roland provided some extra 667 to round out our ton. To deal with a late season rain, the vineyard crew was aggressive with both leafing and using a leaf-blower to create airflow and dry out the clusters.

All this additional care and attention created a wine that is balanced and nuanced. With a ruby/garnet color, the 2011 Wentzel opens with aromas of raspberry, blackberry and hints of espresso. The Wentzel is known for its long finish and the 2011 delivers with a clean, brisk and fine tannin finish that lingers with a savory mushroom note.

Clones: 114, 115, 667 and 777
Harvest/Brix: Harvest date: October 17, 2011 at 23.5 Brix
Fruit: 100% whole berry (no stems)
Fermentation: Native yeast
Barrel aging: 18 months in French oak, 25% new (Cadus, tight grain, MT)
Alcohol content: 14% by volume
Bottled: April, 2013
Production: 48 cases
Release date: October, 2013

Suggested Retail Price: $45/bottle (750ml)
Drink now through 2020