For the Besson grenache’s 102nd harvest, we commissioned a new label from a 16th century Swedish encyclopedist. How a Swedish academic, working during the Little Ice Age on a history of the Nordic Peoples could produce an image which so precisely evokes our coastal ranges, rugged sea shore and brilliant California sun is a mystery. Produced as we do our pinots, we minimize punchdowns and extended macerations that risk over-extraction in favor of partial whole cluster fermentation with native yeast, and the inclusion of a small proportion of Grenache “rested” for 8 days in picking boxes placed before fans. The latter is a practice of Barolo producer Armando Parusso; a shortened apassimento to allow the stems alone to dry, and when subsequently fermented whole cluster, they contribute an entirely different set of complex wild peach and vivid winter spice aromatics. After 10 months in neutral barrel, we blended this special lot into the main cuvée before bottling, unfiltered. Its vibrant yet delicate hue recalls pinot and cooler vintages, yet the flavors are more candied and expressive of brambly wild raspberry and kirsch. Highly aromatic --and ideally suited to a Burgundy glass-- the finish brings fine yet persistent ninja tannins that creep up, quietly, from behind.
TA: 5.5 g/l, pH 3.48, Alc 13.5%