This month’s wine club has been in the works for over 10 years and we are beyond thrilled to be sharing these very special wines with our wine club members first! Since Pat and I first went into business together and started selling wine, my brother the talented wine maker one, Daniel Fitzgerald always discussed with us the idea of creating our own label. You might recall that this past September we took a road trip out to California to visit my family. Harvest was in full force and Dan took us under his wing for the day, sorting grapes and of course tasting through his projects. One project was specific to us and we were able to taste our wines in barrels. This new wine label of ours is called “Peony” it will be exclusive to the Bottle Shop with the addition of some special showcases among some of our close friends’ businesses.
P. & E. Mullins
2019 Bisson Glera Frizzante
To kick off the introduction of our new private wine label, we thought it was only appropriate to start with bubbles. We were introduced to “Glera” from my brother as a perfect everyday celebration wine. Glera is the varietal used in Prosecco and used in this wine, however winemaker Pierluigi Lugano is untraditional and does not like to conform to the impeding laws of the Prosecco DOC. He seals his bubbles with a crown top and does not put the name “Prosecco” on his labels. While most of the Glera varietal sourced for Prosecco comes from flat, machine worked vineyards, this Glera is sourced from the Valdobbiadene appellation which is very steep hillsides. The terroir is glacier deposits from the Dolomites, rich with minerals. Due to the landscape all the vines are tended by hand from pruning to harvest. These growing conditions and labor do produce a lower yield, but the quality of the fruit makes it all worth it. What exists in this simple clean bottle is a bubbly dream. There are notes of green apple and floral aromas on the nose. The palate is balanced perfectly with acidity and minerality and it finishes clean and dry. It truly is just straight up pleasant, and it makes us happy. So please pop it open and toast this new venture along with us! Cheers! (In case you haven’t noticed, we cheers a lot in our family).
Drum roll please…
From Dan our amazing winemaker we were able to get an insider view of the vintage, the harvest and the winemaking. Below we share his notes on the wines.
This 2019 vintage will be remembered as one of the best of the decade. The wet Winter followed by a wet Spring started the year off a little late but California sure needed the water! Northern California did not suffer the usual mid-July/August heat waves, frankly the Summer was extremely mild compared to most. As the fruit slowly ripened and rain remained absent, it came to be a nearly perfect growing season. A great vintage for winemakers and consumers alike!
2019 Peony Chardonnay
Mendocino County, California
Harvested September 14th, 2019, this 100% Chardonnay was sourced from the Gamino Vineyard high up in the Mendocino hills at an elevation of 1200 feet. The vineyard is planted to a legendary California heirloom clone called “Old Wente.” The row orientation is Northeast by Southwest for maximum sun exposure. The soil is rich with minerals of volcanic rocky, sandy and loam. The grapes were whole-cluster pressed to tank and cold settled overnight, then racked off heavy solids to barrel. We try and retain the perfect balance of solids for palate weight and complexity. The juice was fermented with indigenous yeast to dryness. Malolactic fermentation was long and cool, also using indigenous flora. 100% barrel fermented in neutral 128L French Oak barrels. Bottled March 2nd. Glimmering honey colored in the glass. A delicate nose of orange blossom, lemon custard and a touch of ginger are immediately apparent. The palate is mouth-filling and textured. Tingling acidity chalky minerality reveal flavors of brine, almond and baked pear followed by a long, seamless finish.
2019 Peony Red Wine
Mendocino County, California
Harvested October 9th of 2019, this red blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc was also sourced from the Gamino Vineyard in the Mendocino hills. The grapes were destemmed only, then transferred by gravity to stainless steel fermentation tanks. After a long cold soak, the must was allowed to warm and ferment with indigenous yeast. I encouraged the fermentations to hit the low 90F for at least two days for added extraction. The new wine was pressed off just before going dry to minimize harsh, alcoholic extraction. Malolactic fermentation was left to complete indigenously. The wine was aged in neutral French oak barrels for 17 months. Bottled March 2nd. An inky purple color in the glass. the nose is exotically aromatic with black plum, stewed blueberry and a high noted, flower pollen character. The palate is opulent and silky with firm tannins. Earthy, forest fruit and loam are further layered in veins of blackberry, bright, red cherry and nervy rhubarb.