Prior to each new Club Release, I try to get lost in my thoughts a bit. I close the door to the outside world, open the new wines alongside some older wines, and attempt to get reacquainted with the new releases. You see, any “new” release from us has actually been in the works for decades. These new wines are the product of everything that has come before…all the tiny and monumental and sometimes accidental decisions that have been made over the last 30 years. Each new vintage is a jumping off place and a unique opportunity to apply everything experienced and learned in the past, to a new vintage. It is an annual cycle of renewal. While we strive for consistency, we are ever hopeful that our wines are ever-so-slowly improving. Sometimes as we attempt to move forward, we throw caution to the wind and get a bit experimental. These “experiments” often end up on the cutting room floor. But we never stop seeking deeper truths; we never stop trying. Winegrowing is a generational journey, and sadly, winemakers only get a single lifetime to pursue perfection. Luckily, I started early in life, at just 19 years of age, so I may be lucky enough to see more vintages than others. But, in the end, it is but a blip in time. This is why I rise early every day, rush off to the winery full of plans and big ideas for today and for tomorrow. When we first moved to the Curtis Estate back in 2005, I had only a cursory understanding of the viticultural promise that surrounded the winery. One block that initially confounded me was a small parcel of Cinsault (now about 25 years old). It was rather weak looking, growing in poor soils made up of sand and gravel. It produced large berries of rather ordinary fruit. Along with all the other blocks on the new Estate, we got work on this small block, trying to improve the quality. We were mostly fermenting it as a red wine, with the best vintages making it into bottle. After a few years of experimentation, we realized that this particular block was better suited for Rosé production. Our newly released 2020 Espérance Rosé is the validation of all that hard work. It ranks as our best ever! Even as we were perfecting our Rosé, part of me missed the red version of Cinsault. We never stopped dreaming and scheming. We are extremely proud to announce the 2020 Étancher, a semi-carbonic blend of Grenache and Cinsault. It is crisp, light, delicious and the perfect wine for right now. Please read all about this wine in a new Journal (blog) that I posted to our website. We only bottled up 100 cases, so it will disappear quickly. We have a few other new wines that will be released later this year – very personal wines that I cannot wait to share with you all. More about that soon… Back to being lost in thought, tasting through the new wines. They do really taste like we have put our 30 years of experience to good use. The 2019 Grenache represents the pinnacle of our Grenache growing efforts. This wine is dark, rich, drinkable now, but also built to improve with age. The 2019 Syrah Watch Hill is a supremely profound wine – a product of extremely limited yields and manically hands-on winemaking. This is a real stunner, dark as moonless night, with a bit of grip that is making it a bit less accessible right now. Hang on to this one for at least a few more months. The 2019 Roasted Slope is the most drinkable now – the Viognier provides real freshness and lift. All of these wines will improve with time, so do not be afraid to be a bit more patient. If you must enjoy them sooner than later, I would suggest that you open them up and decant them to provide a bit of softening oxygen. Thank you for your continued support. I sincerely hope that you enjoy the new wines.
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