2012 Cabernet Pfeffer
100% Wirz Vineyard/Cienega Valley
50 cases produced
The Wirz vineyard is located in Cienega Valley (San Benito County), in the foothills of the Gabilan Mountain Range ~1100 ft above sea level and ~25 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The Cabernet Pfeffer vines are more than 90 years old grown on a hillside of granite and limestone soils. The vines are head trained, dry farmed, and organically farmed. Cabernet Pfeffer is an extremely rare variety with less than 12 acres grown in CA. A recent ampelography study by UC Davis on the Wirz vines discovered the vines are 'Mourtaou', a rare French variety. In California, 'Cabernet Pfeffer' is a synonym for 'Mourtaou'. In France, "Pfeffer" alone has been used to refer to ''Mourtaou'. The name ‘Pfeffer’ means ‘pepper’ in German and is very fitting for the pepper aromas and flavors found in the wine.
5 days cold soak with small sulphur addition. Indigenous yeast fermentation, no additions made. 10 day fermentation, 10 day maceration, gently pressed into barrels. Initially 50% neutral and 50% new french oak. Wine was transferred from new french oak to neutral after 3 months. 13 month oak ageing.
This wine has truly surprised me. Throughout the past year it has evolved into a delicate, but truly complex wine. With aromas of violets and spice, the palate has cranberry, pepper, fine tannins, and an earthy mineral finish.