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The Foppiano Winery made their first wine from the 1896 vintage. Today, Foppiano Winery offers its wines under three different labels. The Foppiano Vineyards label is reserved for red wines such as their renowned Petite Sirah, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. White wines produced by the family have their own label: Fox Mountain. Under this label you will find outstanding values in Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Finally, the family produces elegantly affordable wines under its Riverside Vineyards label. These wines represent some of the best wine values in California.
This vintage of our Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is immediately captivating in its aromatics. All the regular "players" are here including an abundance of citrus (lemon, orange, grapefruit), tart green apple, and our distinct floral signature. Supporting cast members include fresh brioche, subtle wet-stone minerality, and an intriguing caramelized crème brulee character. The palate is creamy and balanced from entry through finish with crisp acidity and a lingering aftertaste of brioche and mineral. A new twist this year was that about 15% of the blend was tank fermented and aged sur lies in a "Chablis-esque" fashion. This was done with the intention of adding another layer of complexity to the blend and of more precisely controlling the final oak level in the finished wine. We believe the results were successful and have contributed towards yielding an even more seamless quality to this vintage. This wine is always enjoyable immediately upon release and is best served lightly chilled. We feel cellaring of up to two years will be rewarded with increased complexity, but beyond this is really unnecessary.
This wine immediately commands your attention with its beautiful garnet hue. The youthful nose is a bit "tight" at first yielding its complex mélange of dark fruit, spice, bacon fat, and subtle herbal notes forthright after a bit of air. The palate displays firm acidity, yet moderate tannins, giving the overall impression of a more delicate and "classically" structured Pinot Noir than its predecessor. This wine is sourced from four different clonal blocks and is notable, once more, for its balance - where no one component dominates. We had more fruit, and thus wine, to work with this year, which allowed us to do a very rigorous barrel selection for what was ultimately included in this final blend. Enjoyable upon release, especially with food, this wine should provide its best drinking over the next two years. We are excited to see several similarities between our first two vintages of this Pinot noir, even though the growing seasons were so different. The sign of true terroir!
In contrast to 1998 when we focussed on the forward fruitiness that the grapes so effortlessly gave forth, the 1999 vintage is more of a product of the wild forces of nature that shaped the season - wind, rain... the evocative voice of the land. This comes through in the wine as an uncommon complexity with notes of roasted meats, game, and hints of ripe blackberry all speaking of the late, cool season. The flavors are a celebration of the vintage with mixed berry, black pepper, and complex visceral notes all vying for attention. We feel this wine has the structure to reward a few more years (2-4) of careful cellaring so try to save some, if you can!
Our 2001 Perennial once again defies simple attempts to be categorized. Does the Pinot noir or Pinot Meunier dominate the nose? Is the palate more Burgundian or more Rhone-like? It seems the answers are different for everyone - although all are in agreement that this wine is ready to enjoy now with hearty Fall fare and should easily stand up to 1 - 2 years of further cellaring if so desired. The nose this vintage is at once more floral and more "meaty " than the red fruit driven 2000. This can be attributed to the return of Pinot Meunier at a higher percentage and a particularly smoky, gamy character in our 2001 Syrah. Deep, black fruit aromas of plum, bing cherry, and wild blackberry take center stage with supporting roles played by spicy notes and hints of well-seasoned French oak. The palate is rich and full with moderate acidity, balanced youthful tannins, and a long flavorful finish.
The cool-climate breeding of the vineyard is evident to the eye and palate when regarding the wine. Color is pale yellow with a hint of green tinge. Aromas reflect traditional Burgundian techniques interplaying with site as a touch of animale adds complexity to the mineral and hint of citrus blossom. The structure of the wine is firm, with a good acid backbone supporting the rich sur lies textural and tactile qualities. We feel the wine is ready to drink upon release and will reward the patient oenophile with careful cellar ageing for five years or longer.