Tuesday, March 20, 2018
James Hall /WineMaster/Patz And Hall/Bootlegger's Hill Chardonnay And Pinot Noir
Recently I traveled into the town of Sonoma,and spent some time with winemaker great James Hall. At Patz & Hall, their approach to wine making champions quality, at every stage of the process. From our partnerships with the finest vineyards to the custom-made French oak cooperage used to age our small-lot Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, we bring together an array of artisan and cutting-edge techniques to create benchmark wines. In our state-of-the-art winery—which was designed exclusively for producing Chardonnay and Pinot—we apply a consistent winemaking style that allows us to find the voice of each vineyard and vintage, while achieving exceptional quality year after year. when enjoying these wines,I think it is very important to remember the amount of work that it takes to make world class wines. Today we have two great wines from the same vineyard. We will start with some wine making notes on the wines and then join James Hall in our double audio feature. A favorite variety of many winemakers, Chardonnay allows the characteristics of the vineyard and vintage to be fully articulated through the craft of winemaking. From intriguing mineral flavors and wet stone aromas to lush, tropical fruit tastes, Chardonnay has a tremendous range of expression. A hallmark of the Patz & Hall winemaking program is the distinctive character of each of our Chardonnays, each beautifully rendered. Our grapes are hand-harvested in the cool of the early morning and immediately sorted in the field. Leaves, imperfect fruit and under-ripe clusters are discarded. These hand-harvested and selected grapes are taken to the winery, where they are meticulously sorted again. The remaining fruit is immediately "whole cluster" pressed. This process produces juice containing very little tannin and preserves the delicate aromatics and full flavors of the Chardonnay fruit. While we end up with less wine this way, the quality and age-worthiness make it worth it. This beautiful wine will make you come back to Chardonnay and embrace the amazing structure that this wine has. Salt rock, caramel and quince combine effortlessly in this medium-bodied wine with a wealth of elegance and structure. The soft texture provides a framework for its balanced complexity and length of baking spice.James and I will now have a chance to enjoy a great pairing with this wine.After we will move on to the Bootlegger's Hill Pinot Noir from Patz and Hall. A sensitive grape, Pinot Noir requires gentle yet decisive handling. Truly, only the most skilled winemakers are able to extract the full flavors of the fruit, while preserving the personality of the individual clones and allowing the terroir of the vineyard site to express itself. We focus on wine making techniques designed to create depth, power, and drama balanced by the finesse of silky tannins and delicate layers of flavor.The Bootlegger's Hill Pinot Noir is just another expression of perfection from wine maker James Hall. After hand picking, the grapes are sorted both in the vineyard and at the winery. The small vineyard lots are put into open-topped fermentors designed specifically for Pinot Noir. We let the fermentation begin slowly in the cool conditions under which the fruit arrives at the winery. Full, round and deep, with soft, sweet tannins, this is a rich and sumptuous Pinot that flows across the palate. At the same time, because Bootlegger’s Hill is just 8 miles from the Pacific, there is lovely acidity to add energy and lift to lush layers of red fruit, licorice, brown sugar and chocolate. The super-long finish reveals hints of smoke and salty sea air that gives this coastal wine a wonderful sense of place. All of our Pinot Noirs are produced using "whole cluster" additions. Usually, 20 percent of the clusters go directly into specially designed fermentors with no de-stemming or crushing at all. The remaining 80 percent will be carefully de-stemmed only. In this way, we allow the intricate fruit flavors and aromas of Pinot Noir to begin developing during fermentation. To further extract color and flavor components, we use a proprietary "punch-over" device to thoroughly break up the cap two to three times per day. Then, when fermentation is complete, we empty the tank with care to capture just the free run juice. The press wine is only incorporated after James evaluates it, rejecting it if it is coarse or overtly astringent. I'm sure you are as excited as I am to open these bottles and enjoy the hard work and passion it took to make these wines. Now let's join James Hall and listen as he tells us of the vineyard and the process it took to make this all happen.Click below and join us.We did save you a seat!Cheers! Click here and join James Hall and myself as we enjoy the wines from Patz and Hall .