October 23, 2016
Greetings from the depths of the 2016 harvest. After a measured start, picking Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at a leisurely pace, we are really in the thick of it now as our fermentation space is ready to burst at the seams. With our harvest interns toiling away all day to the steady beat of an air pump, sucking wine from the bottom of a fermenter and spraying it back on top, we have a rare moment to sneak away and check in with you, our friends and fans.
So much has happened since we officially launched TIMBRE last year at our 10-year anniversary party. In some ways, that seems like a lifetime ago, as we have gone on the adventures of reintroducing our wines to people who have known La Fenetre for years. We’ve continued to tweak our labels and develop new concepts for our wines in the pursuit of more clearly expressing ourselves and our vision for this winery. The response has been unbelievable so far and it seems like we’re really starting to hit our stride. If you haven’t tasted our wines since the label change, take this Fall Release opportunity to pick up some of the 2014s, which are seriously jamming.
If you missed us at the Santa Barbara County Celebration of Harvest tasting in Solvang and our winery party on October 9th, come visit us at the winery for a private tasting (please call or email ahead). Also, help us spread the word to your wine-loving friends and enemies, and get with us on our TIMBRE social media, as our La Fenetre accounts will have very little activity going forward. Holler at us @TimbreWinery on Facebook and Instagram.
Without further ado (and because we have to get back to the crush pad), we present our newest release of 2014 TIMBRE wines. Read on for individual tasting notes and information about each of the new wines… Cheers!
-Josh & Alex-
p.s. Please place your order by November 4th to receive 15% off your purchase. If ordering online, use the code FALL2016TW at checkout to receive the discount. Wines will be shipped/delivered after November 7th via temperature controlled truck. If you would like to place an order by phone, please call Chiasa at 310.480.2041.
2014 Timbre Chardonnay ‘Lead Vocals’
[Bien Nacido Vineyard]
Suggested retail price $36.00
‘Lead Vocals – Not just a great voice, but also a great performer. The shale and sandstone alluvium found in Bien Nacido’s I Block provide the potential for Chardonnay with bright acidity, minerality, and lasting finish. The gentle sur-lie aging makes this wine a showstopper.’
As always, our Bien Nacido Chardonnay comes from the ‘I Block’ on the vineyard’s south facing bench section. The fruit is a combination of the original plantings from 1973 and the “young vines” interplanted in the block in 1997. The citrus-driven young vines and the mineral-laden old vines sing a sweet tune together. Fermented and aged sur-lie in French oak barrels (25% new), the wine has known only one home for 18 months before blending and bottling.
The powerful aroma of the light golden 2014 Lead Vocals Chardonnay hits you even before you turn the rim of the glass in your direction. Caramel, marzipan, lemon preserves, and a hint of grass are apparent on the nose. On the palate, the balance the Bien Nacido ‘I Block’ fruit we’ve been working with for over a decade now is unmistakable. The zingy lemon and grapefruit create a harmonious interplay with the beautifully integrated toasty components that come from fermenting and aging in some of the best French oak barrels available. Secondary fruit flavors bring to mind a viscous berry compote on French toast, all the while maintaining a refreshing, vibrancy.
Because the different components of this wine interact so harmoniously, our recommended musical pairings have to be harmony-heavy. Try “Scarborough Fair” by Simon & Garfunkel , or “Yesterday” by Boyz II Men (if you were a youth in the 90s). Drink now-2020+.
2014 Timbre Pinot Noir ‘Lead Vocals’
[Bien Nacido Vineyard]
Suggested retail price $45.00
‘Lead Vocals – Not just a great voice, but also a great performer. Bien Nacido has been the frontman for American Pinot Noir for over 40 years and the own-rooted Pommard Clone in G Block’s gravel and sandy loam provide the complexity of a true icon.’
Since 2009, we have been fortunate enough to source Pinot Noir from one of the most coveted Pinot Noir vineyards in the country. Continuing the tradition, our ‘Lead Vocals’ Pinot is 100% ‘G block’, one of the own-rooted sections of the vineyard, planted in 1973. The own roots and vine age, seem to create a complexity and stuffing rarely found in American Pinot Noir and, even in a big vintage like 2014, these old vines produced less than 2 tons per acre.
As usual, Bien Nacido delivers intrigue on the nose. The funkiest of our Pinot Noirs, this wine promises layer upon layer of complexity from the outset. On the palate, the wine still has the classic, pretty Pinot Noir elements of strawberry and cranberry, but gets deeper with earthy elements of caraway seed and sous-bois. The oak is more apparent on this wine that our other Santa Maria Valley offerings, with a tantalizing riff of cocoa powder running throughout.
The depth of this wine calls to mind a description of John Coltrane’s style as “sheets of sound,” so the first musical pairing for this wine has to be Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”. The funk of the wine also makes its own case for a musical pairing, so “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars is another great option. Drink Now-2024+.
2014 Timbre Pinot Noir ‘The Headliner’
Suggested retail price $45.00
‘The Headliner – The reason that everyone shows up. Sandy soils in the vineyard and whole cluster fermentation in the winery create a beautifully aromatic stunner with a sultry edge that practically guarantees a curtain call.’
Presqu’ile is the only vineyard we source from in the Solomon Hills section of the Santa Maria Valley. This southern region of the valley has long been recognized as a perfect terroir for dense, powerful, yet distinctly elegant fruit, and year in and year out, Presqu’ile proves why that reputation has developed. The block we’ve been sourcing fruit from since 2010 is entirely sand, which tends to accentuate the silky fruit characters of Pinot Noir, and the 777 clone planted here lends itself towards a beautifully perfumed, red-fruited wine.
Shy on the nose, giving only teases of what’s to come, this pale red wine explodes on the palate with a luscious, mouth-coating symphony of flavor and texture. The red-fruit section of strawberry, cherry and raspberry, play off of the backing created by the 30% whole cluster fermentation, adding elements of cloves, turmeric and cola. A slight espresso note from the new wood makes itself heard before the wine returns to its strawberry crescendo.
Try pairing with these selections of symphonic-influenced pop songs: “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye, or “Gone ‘till November” by Wyclef Jean. Drink Now-2024+.
2014 Timbre Pinot Noir ‘The Rhythm’
Suggested retail price $40.00
‘The Rhythm – The unsung hero of almost every musical composition. Since 1972, Riverbench has flown under the radar as a source of some of California’s best wines. With classic Santa Maria Funk and herbal accents, this wine rewards those who take notice.’
Riverbench is one of a few hidden gems in the Santa Maria Valley. With roots dating back to the early 1970’s, the vineyard has some of the coolest old vines on the central coast. Planted mostly to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (as all the great vineyards in Santa Maria are), the property grows fruit that is reminiscent of dried herbs and earth in its ancient seabed soils.
On the nose of this red, tawny-hued wine, strawberries and cinnamon stick dominate. On the palate, savory dried herbs provide a backdrop for ripe strawberry, nectarine, and cherry jolly-rancher. It finishes with a vibrant acidity, evoking pickled ginger and rhubarb.
The racy verve on this wine calls for a pairing with a tune from the Verve Records label. The catalogue is full of gems, but “Walk on the Wild Side” by Lou Reed and “Whatever Lola Wants” by Sarah Vaughan are a couple of good places to start. Drink Now-2024+.
2014 Timbre Pinot Noir ‘Guest Star’
[Hilliard Bruce Vineyard]
Suggested retail price $50.00
‘Guest Star – It’s always good to have friends drop in when you are playing a show. Hilliard Bruce Vineyard may not be part of our regular cast, but when we got the opportunity to bring this Sta. Rita Hills legend on our 2014 vintage tour, we jumped at the chance.’
Hilliard Bruce is truly a special vineyard site in the Sta. Rita Hills, with a distinct micro-climate that lends itself to producing high-acid, rich wines year after year. The densely planted vineyard forces the vines to struggle for water, and dig deeper into the ground, picking up great minerality. Hilliard Bruce is also an exemplar of sustainability, not only as a member of Sustainability in Practice (SIP), as most of our vineyard sources are, but also in its LEED certified winery.
On the nose, this wine actually shows nearly as much high-toned Santa Maria Valley character as it does Sta. Rita Hills character, perhaps because Hilliard Bruce Vineyard is on the far western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, where the cool, foggy conditions are the most pronounced. On the palate, the wine exemplifies balance from start to finish. As beautiful as the flavor components of caramel apple, black cherry and soy sauce are, what really makes this wine stand out is its texture; so supple, so sultry, it seems almost impossible to resist going back for the next taste.
Pair with some sultry sounds such as, “Anytime, Anyplace” by Janet Jackson or “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt. Drink Now-2024+.
2014 Timbre Pinot Noir ‘The Hi-Hat’
[John Sebastiano Vineyard]
Suggested retail price $50.00
‘The Hi-Hat – One of the most versatile tools in a drum kit, able to produce countless tones. John Sebastiano Vineyard spans adjacent hilltops, consisting of myriad microclimates. This wine, blended from 3 distinct blocks, is a unique expression of this remarkable terroir.’
Planted in 2007, John Sebastiano sits on the far eastern edge of the Sta. Rita Hills. As far east as Hilliard Bruce is west, these two vineyards could not be further apart and still be in the same AVA. They offer a glimpse at two completely different micro-climates, both expressions of this amazing place for Pinot Noir. The exposed hilltops are constantly being bombarded by wind, and as such, often struggle to produce a crop one would call ‘healthy’. The 2014 vintage was a departure from the norm, and the excellent yields afforded us perfect clusters of 667, Swan, and Pommard clones with which we made this beauty of a wine.
This wine shows classic Sta. Rita Hills character from the first whiff, with fruit on the darker end of the Pinot Noir spectrum, cola, and an almost hidden spicy component. On the palate, the wine delivers what it promised on the nose, with a mouth-filling weight, flavors of plum torte, black currant and Dr. Pepper, pulled back by peaches on the mid-palate.
Pair with a timeless hi-hat-driven tune such as, “Roxanne” by The Police, for the classic rockers, or “Take 5” by Dave Brubeck for the jazz heads. Drink Now-2024+.