Stagiaire - 2021 - Relief in Ambiguity
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Stagiaire - 2021 - Relief in Ambiguity

Pinot Noir

California, USA

Stagiaire: The French word for apprentice and what the winemaker I worked for in Jura called me when other local vigneron asked who the hell the guy speaking really bad French was. The name encapsulates humility, impermanence, and the pursuit of knowledge. I work with vineyards that are organic at a minimum, actively seeking thoughtful and regenerative practices instead of recipe farming. Most importantly I want to work with good people that are trying to farm with nature instead of against it. Starting in 2020 I am farming a few parcels of my own.
If we have good grapes, why add anything to them in the cellar? (Stagiaire)

My 22 year old Pinot vineyard in the Summit region of the Santa Cruz Mountains at 1800ft. Organic and no tilling. No tractor. Everything done by hand. The drought really hurt these vines, even with the bit of irrigation that I was able to do. We never really got the fog that we normally get in June/July adding to the water stress on the grapes. Getting close to harvest the berries had less supple skins than they normally do and we had a three day period of nonstop fog and drizzling... the vines soaked up water rapidly and the berries started splitting in the more drought affected portions of the vineyard. Due to broken berries and long periods of water stress, all of the ferments from this vineyard were very tricky and slow and really needed to be babied. This is a blend of some longer whole cluster and variations of carbonic ferments that were pressed together. Fermentation finished in stainless, and then aged in barrel for 8 months. Brooding, nebulous, dark energy and lifted aromatics framing tart jolly rancher fruit quality. Chuggable chilled or contemplative if you want to be a nerd. - Brent Mayeaux