2018 The First Date
Fresh & Lively; Lush & Seductive
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I use a concrete egg shaped tank to ferment and age the Grenache Blanc portion of this blend. The premise is that with the egg's shape and the earth's gravitation rotation it creates a vortex inside the egg that stirs the lees on a constant basis as it ages. What I love about the egg is that it keeps the fruit bright, adds a creaminess to the wine, and it brings out the minerality of the fruit.
A beautiful light golden color, blend has an explosive nose of peach and dried apricot, lemon/lime zest, mineral and white flowers. It’s a rich, opulently full-bodied wine that showcases dried apricots and peaches, Margarita mix, toasted brioche and fresh vanilla bean. What makes this wine, so intriguing is the mineral back bone that keeps the wine fresh.
The blend: 60% Grenache Blanc, 40% Roussanne; 215 cases produced. In the Cohn Zone: drink now - 2025.
Double Gold - Best Aromatic White, 2021 Sonoma International Film Festival Wine 'WOSCAR' Winner
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I wanted to make a white wine that was elegant, fun, and intriguing but also had a serious side. This is where balance comes into play. I also wanted to create something, that reminded me of a Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc.
The Grenache Blanc comes from one of the oldest plantings in California, Camp 4 in Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara. Its focus is on brightness and freshness; the Roussanne is from Stagecoach Vineyard in Napa and brings a richness and roundness to the wine that balances perfectly with the Grenache Blanc's verve.
Appellation: Napa Valley and San Ynez Valley
Vineyard: Stagecoach, sustainably farmed, originally planted in the late 1800’s then brought to glory in the mid-1990s beginning with the removal of 1 billion pounds of volcanic rock.
While Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary varietal grown, its Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier are unmatched in their depth and complexity. I source here purely and simply for the minerality, roundness, and depth that the vineyard offers to my beloved Rhône white varietals.
Vinification: 60% Grenache Blanc, 40% Roussanne
The fruit is hand-picked then cold-soaked. I gently foot-stomp the fruit of which 100% whole cluster. None is crushed. The wine goes through open-top, then 100% Malolactic fermentation and aged 18 months in large-format 30% new French oak barrels.
$.01 12+ 750 mL bottles
$ 15 1 - 11 750 mL bottles
$ 15 per magnum
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94 Jeb Dunnuck — Based on 60% Grenache Blanc and 40% Roussanne from vineyards throughout California, the 2018 The First Date is beautifully done, offering pure, precise notes of orange blossom, pineapple, honeysuckle, and white flowers. Rich and textured, yet elegant and finesse-driven as well as perfectly balanced, it shows the long, even 2018 growing season perfectly. It’s great today and I suspect will evolve nicely for 4-6 years.
94 Wine Advocate, Erin Brooks — The 2018 The First Date is a blend of 60% Grenache Blanc and 40% Roussanne aged in 30% new French oak and concrete eggs. The nose offers fresh orchard fruits, white flowers, citrus and baker’s yeast aromas. The palate has honeyed bass tones and a broad, textural presence in the mouth, enlivened by fresh acidity and citrusy sparks. It will drink well on its own or pair with a wide range of foods.