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What defines the Clos Pegase style? Clos Pegase Winery likes to talk about balance, harmony and symmetry. About true varietal intensity with balanced tannins and acids. And, most of all, about the balance of sophisticated elegance and inviting food-friendliness.
Our whites -- Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc -- display the fresh fruit qualities of these varieties, while our reds -- Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon among others -- offer fruitiness and accessibility at an early age by using the old technique of extended maceration, which creates softer tannins through polymerization. In all instances, the wine ages gracefully in Clos Pegase Winery natural caves hewn out of the stone, as in antiquity, free of air conditioner vibration and enjoying ideal year-round temperature and humidity.
The 1994 Hommage Artist series Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is an extremely limited blend of our finest lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Blackberry, cinnamon and lavender aromas combine with flavors of blueberries, strawberries and orange peel to produce a full-bodied wine with sweet oak and silky tannins. Aged 24 months in small French oak barrels, this wine possesses the intense richness, layered fruit complexity and proper tannin structure to improve in the bottle for many years. Our label renders homage to Wilfredo Lam, an artist whose work yields in pure, warm shades the mythical world of the forest, merging human and vegetable forms to produce a new pictoral order.
To source fruit of high enough caliber to select for the Pegase Circle, we look no further than to Mitsuko’s Vineyard in Carneros. We then select the finest lots to blend a true ‘Reserve’ wine: intensity, purity, and depth being the criteria for inclusion. Elevage is similar to our ‘Mitsuko’s Vineyard’ Merlot, with the addition of an extra four months spent in barrel for a total time of 19 months, and the inclusion of a higher proportion of new French oak; for the intense 2001 harvest 45% of the barrels were new. The net result of rich fruit, extended barrel aging, and lavish oak is greater intensity and weight tempered with finesse and complexity on the palate. The nose opens with ripe and complex blackberry and cherry notes, balanced with floral violet and rose hints, coffee, chocolate, cedary oak, toast and vanilla. A voluptuous and smooth entry and full body lead to a rich and textured palate with fine tannins and a long finish. The wine is luscious and approachable now, or can be cellared for five to eight years to enjoy greater complexity from our Estate Carneros Merlot.
In 2001 our 9 ½ producing acres of vines yielded 42 tons of luscious ripe grapes, concurrent with almost perfect ripening conditions, giving us optimum ripeness and intensity. Eleven separate parcels of fruit were picked between September 8th and 22nd, spending on average 18 days in tank for fermentation and a brief post-fermentation maceration to extract the maximum flavor and color from the fruit. The wines were gently presses, then racked off the heavy lees to 35% new French oak barrels, where they remained undisturbed, but for regular topping, for 10 months. The wine from each barrel was gently moved up to tank using Nitrogen gas under pressure in August 2002. In tank, it received a light clarification with Isinglass, and was then bottled without filtration in September 2002. 2762 cases produced.
In our endeavors to retain the ethereal fragrance of the variety, we pressed the wines off the skins after a brief two week fermentation and maceration, racked the barrels gently to clarify during elevage, and bottled the wine in April 2003 after a total of 17 months in neutral French barrels. As a final tribute to the delightful wines of the Loire, we have bottled the wine in the classic bottle shape for the region. Pretty, soft and elegant, this fragrant expression of Cabernet Franc has voluminous fruit flavors on the palate which allow the wine to stand up and be taken seriously, and retains the bright plum and cherry aromas of the primary fruit with complex smoky, cedar, leather and tobacco tones.
For our latest Estate Grown Chardonnay, we pay Hommage to Amédée Ozenfant, an influential author and theorist who championed the clear and highly organized structural compositions that define Purism. His piece from 1925, Nature Morte Puriste, praises the beauty of crystalline objects, the machine and its products – an admirable counterbalance to the opulence and lusciousness of our Chardonnay.