Clos Saron Carte Blanche 2016  Front Label
Clos Saron Carte Blanche 2016  Front LabelClos Saron Carte Blanche 2016 Front Bottle Shot

Clos Saron Carte Blanche 2016

    750ML / 0% ABV
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    750ML / 0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    50% Albariño, 50% Verdelho

    Critical Acclaim

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    Clos Saron

    Clos Saron

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    Clos Saron, California
    Gideon Beinstock and Saron Rice founded Clos Saron in 1999, but the story goes back much further than that. Gideon and Saron met at the Fellowship of Friends headquarters in Oregon House, California. The Fellowship is a spiritual/religious movement that was founded in Berkeley in the late 1960's. It was at one time a worldwide movement with over 2500 members. Now there are around 500 members and it's reputation is one of a failed cult with a sullied history. But in the 80's and 90's it was a vibrant community of seekers looking for fulfillment and meaning; and Oregon House was it's headquarters. One of the many cultural activities practiced at the headquarters was viticulture. (The Fellowship focused on the arts and culture as a means of self discovery. Gideon was a painter in Paris when he discovered the Fellowship.) They planted acres and acres of vines and founded a winery called Renaissance. Eventually Gideon would come to be in charge of the winery. During his tenure in the early 1990's, Renaissance produced some legandary wines that are just now reaching their prime. In the later nineties, the Fellowship began to fail. There were accusations of sexual misconduct and many members left after 1998 came and went without the fullfillment of a major doomsday prediction. Gideon and Saron were mentally and spiritually diverging from the Fellowship as well, but the vineyard held them tight. Gideon was entrenched in the land and what it had to say through the vines. But eventually they had to find a way forward that was not on the Renaissance property. This way came via a small property very nearby where, in 1995, they first began helping a friend with his .5 acres of grapes and then eventually bought the land and grew it to the 6 acres that it is today. When they started, the property was planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, but Gideon and Saron grafted the original vines over to Pinot Noir and then doubled the planting density by planting own rooted vines between the original rows. For years they were using fruit from this Clos Saron site and also fruit from Renaissance. But the need to disentangle from the Fellowship meant that they lost the access to Renaissance in 2010. The Pinot Noir vines at Clos Saron are The Home Vineyard. They also have a field blend that will become a white blend - all harvested and fermented together. Clos Saron sits at 1600 feet elevation and all of the vines are own rooted except for those original 400 vines that were grafted from Cabernet, which are not on rootstock, but rather Pinot vines on Cabernet roots. Further down the road, on a rolling hilltop at higher elevation but exposed to much more sunshine, Gideon was farming another site that is planted to Syrah and Viognier. The grapes here were again picked together and cofermented. The last year they farmed this site was 2020. Farming at all of the sites is organic. Gideons number one goal and the thing that he comes back to over and over again in conversations about farming or winemaking is to allow the vineyards to speak. This means not using any chemical inputs to alter that voice. It means picking at the absolute right moment to find the most clarity in that voice. And it means allowing the wine to develop as naturally as possible so as to not alter the pitch or tone of the voice. In the winery this has been an experiment in progress over the years. Every vintage brings new challenges of course, but he has found that a little sulfur at crush is the best way to avoid the characteristics he feels interfere and muffle the vineyard (like mousiness) and still allow the full range to be heard. Otherwise there are no additions at all and no fining or filtering before bottling by gravity.
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    Originally a source of oenological sustenance for gold-seeking miners of the mid-1800s, the Sierra Foothills was the first region in California to produce wines from European grape varieties. Located between Sacramento and the Nevada border, this area’s immigrant settlers chose to forgo growing the then-ubiquitous Mission grape and instead brought with them superior vines from the Old World to plant alongside mining camps.

    Zinfandel has been the most important variety of this region since its inception, taking on a spicy character with brambly fruit and firm structure. Amador and El Dorado counties, benefiting from the presence of volcanic and granite soils, are home to the best examples. Bold, robust Rhône Blends and Barbera are also important regional specialties.

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    With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

    DBWDB0289_16_2016 Item# 417482

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