Ammunition thrives to make wines rich with American spirit. I think we can all agree, especially within the last 10 to 20 years, there’s nothing more American — nothing more Californian — than Pinot Noir. As Director of Marketing for Ammunition David Dees says, “No one needs another wine.” True fact — the grocery store shelves are lined with Pinot Noirs boasting Sonoma grapes. But I say to you, what Ammunition has created is a Pinot of a different caliber, hitting a target and satiating a need I didn’t even know existed.
What do you do when you’re alone? That may sound like a loaded (or dirty) question, but think about it. What is it that you do when no one else is watching? Me? I practice my violin without abandon; I strum on my guitar like I’m Keith Richards (What? I have a thing for the Rolling Stones…); I sing at the top of my lungs; and I dance because, well, no one is watching. I eat chocolate; I lift weights; I pour an extra glass; I run an extra mile. What do you do when you are on your own?
John Fones, owner and winemaker of Cellars 33, is no stranger to Sonoma Coast fruit. He cut his winemaking teeth interning for Freeman Winery, in the heart of the Russian River Valley, and worked alongside Ed Kurtzman as Assistant Winemaker for August West — who sources their grapes from the RRV, among other California coastal appellations. So, it’s no wonder that he chose two diverse Sonoma Coast vineyards to create his expression of cool-climate Pinot.
Andrew Tow, found and owner of The Withers Winery, wasn’t always a fan of California wines. Instead, he gravitated toward the more traditional wines of France and Italy. Here, he felt, the wines were more authentic, with hands-off winemaking methods, and resulting wines that are less about alcohol and texture but more of a celebration of real fruit. Now that he has his place in the California winemaking scene, his goal is to bring that “Old World” style to this “New World” regime. “The ‘New California’ is the ‘Old California,” says Tow. And so it is with his 2015 Peters Vineyard Pinot Noir: a California “classic” that expresses all the nuances that the land, the fruit, and the gentle hands of the winemaker has to offer.
I’m going to start this post with stating the fact that this Pinot Noir is amazing. Now, I’m going to spend the rest of the time telling you why. After tasting a wine, I research who made it and where it comes from to figure out why I experienced what I did during my tasting. In doing so, the family behind Foursight Wines taught me a new word: monopole.
Bill and Nancy Charles, along with their daughter Kristy Charles and son-in-law Joe Web craft only 100% estate wines from their very own Charles Vineyard in Anderson Valley — a vineyard the small crew mans themselves on a daily basis. With just about 15 acres planted to vines, the Charles’ are extremely focused. And while they do produce a single-bottle Semillon and grow a bit of Sauv Blanc for blending, it’s clear that the main focus is Pinot Noir. (more…)