Some summer drinkers on the Peay second label.
Rose - $19
Sauvignon Blanc - $20
10% discount for a case buy.
The jig is up. Two weekends ago we had an Open House at the winery (it was great fun, you should come to the next one this fall.) We poured a few wines under our second label which most people did not know came from Peay Vineyards since we keep our second label very distinct in packaging from Peay and, frankly, on the down low. Folks were blown away by the quality of two wines we were pouring and went home with quite a bit in the trunks of their cars.
And then it occurred to me, who deserves to have a crack at these wines more than the people who support Peay? Why should we hide them from the rest of our loyal fans?
So, let me tell you a little about our second label - Cep Vineyards - before I discuss the release of these new wines.
Cep means vine stock in French. With our emphasis on making wines that reveal the vineyard's personality, and not some winemaker's magic toolbox, we felt this was an appropriate name. A cep is also a delectable mushroom that grows at the base of oaks in our forest and is commonly known as porcini or more formally as boletus edilus. Though we love cepes, this has nothing to do with the name.
Cep Pinot noir and Syrah are made from barrels of estate wine that do not make it into one of our Peay wines. We do all the blending for the Peay cuvées blind - without knowing the amount each potential wine will make to keep the finance guy honest - so we choose the wine that best expresses the cuvée and the vintage. After we have put together all the wines for the vintage, Vanessa will say we have X extra barrels of Pinot or Syrah and they become Cep. They are delicious and at half the price of Peay an incredible steal. But they are not the focus of Peay Vineyards. At Peay we want to make the best wines from our vineyard and that is what drives us. So, though we like the Cep wines, we do not associate the Peay name with them as they are by definition not good enough to make a Peay cuvée.
As you know from reading the spring newsletter - you do read the newsletter, we hope - we lost 60% of our crop in 2008 to a spring frost. With 100% of costs and 40% of revenue we needed to buy some fruit in 2009 to help boost cash flow. So we sat down to think about what wines really excite us that have short production cycles. Rosé is one. Sauvignon Blanc can be another. So, we decided to purchase fruit to make these wines under the Cep label.
We wanted to make a Sauvignon Blanc that captures the steely, crisp, salivating qualities of the variety that we admire, more Sancerre than New Zealand. The fruit for the 2009 comes from Hopkins Ranch in the heart of the Russian River Valley next to Amber Ridge vineyard. The fruit was picked quite early and at very low BRIX to avoid tropical flavors and ensure that we ended up with crisp acidity and focus. The wine has a bright nose of melon with hints of ruby grapefruit that intensify as the wine runs down the palate. The mid-palate has searing acidity with lemon and chalk notes that linger on the long finish. The Sauvignon Blanc is $20 per bottle and we made 500 cases.
The 2009 Cep Nobles Ranch Rosé from the Sonoma Coast is an incredibly good Rosé. There is an obvious explanation for why this is so. This is not a saigneé. We did not make this wine by bleeding off juice so we could make a macho, concentrated Peay Pinot noir. Pish. This is a purposeful Rosé made from expensive Pinot noir grown on Nobles Ranch located in the central Sonoma Coast. This vineyard has great acclaim for fruit it sells to a winery making $80 Pinot noir and Chardonnay. This Rosé is refreshing and pairs beautifully with salad, citrus, oysters, mussels, salumi and on and on. Picnic on a warm spring day? Invite me and I’ll bring a bottle of Cep Rosé. The wine has a kiss of strawberry on the nose that gives way to limestone, crushed oyster shells and lime essence as it carries down the tongue. The finish is bright and clean and, frankly, delicious. The Rosé is $19 per bottle and we made 500 cases.
We want these wines to become your go-to summer wines so we are extending a 10% discount on purchases of 12 bottles of a specific wine. They are available for sale at the Wine Shop on our web site. If you need your password, just email Andy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope all is well with you.
Andy, Vanessa and Nick