Martha Stoumen's Fall Release
I remember the first time I tried Martha Stoumen's wine, the Post Flirtation Red, while standing at the bar at Tartine Manufactory five or so years ago. At the time, it was a new type of California wine for me, bright, fresh, and bursting with energy. Since then, Martha's wines have grown to include more growers and uncommon varietals, but those initial observations still remain true.
As a first-generation and self-funded winemaker, Martha set out to explore the evolving identity of California wine through the lens of Mediterranean grapes grown in the warmer pockets of Mendocino County. There's a foundation of patience in her process. Patience for farming the land with respect to the soil and environment. Patience and care in the cellar, taking a minimalist winemaking approach. Martha is a true craftswoman, and her dedication and passion are immediately apparent in her vibrant and soulful natural wines.
I'd been patiently awaiting the Fall release and couldn't be more excited to share them with you all. There is the return of the Negroamaro Rosato and Redwood Valley Pinot Noir, plus a new Dry Creek Valley Syrah, typically only reserved for wine club members. All wines on offer today come from practicing organic vineyards and are vinified with native yeast fermentations. As with all her wines, healthy fruit is the star and shows off with complex and concentrated aromas.
Quantities are limited, so I suggest picking up a few now to enjoy alongside cozy meals with friends throughout the Fall season.
A non-vintage rosato blend of Bricarelli Negroamaro from 2020 (55%) and 2021 (45%), fermented and aged extensively in neutral oak barrique. Bricarelli Ranch in Ukiah is home to 16-year-old head-trained, dry-farmed vines that Martha and her team farm using organic practices. Vibrant aromas of rose petal, almond wood, hearty herbs and agave. The punchy acidity beckons for Spanish-style tapas like boquerones and Manchego.
Planted in the 1960's, these dry-farmed vines produce a wine with ample concentration and lots of restraint. Whole cluster, semi-carbonic fermentation in tank. The wine aged on fine lees in neutral oak barrique for 9 months before blending and bottling. Soft aromas of breakfast tea and orange peels drying in the sun, with finely woven tannins.
Planted on iron-rich, volcanic soils at 1,000 ft elevation. A splash of co-fermenting Viognier adds welcome freshness to Syrah's gamier notes. Whole cluster, semi-carbonic fermentation in tank. Aromas of dried violets and tiny white flowers. Enjoy it when you reach for the end piece of a rack of lamb for the char, or indulge in earth-forward flavors like shiitake mushrooms and falafel.
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