Thursday, October 24, 2013

Recent Press

We've received some fantastic new scores and accolades for our wines this fall, and of course we're thrilled:

Pinot Report
93 points: 2010 Zero New Oak Pinot Noir
94 points: 2010 Charles Vineyard Pinot Noir
91 points: 2010 Clone 05 Pinot Noir

Foursight was also mentioned as an "elite producer" in Anderson Valley by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The article is called "America's Best Pinot Noirs," and names the top Pinot-producing regions.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

America’s Best Pinot Noirs

We name the top addresses for the variety, region by region.

America’s Best Pinot Noirs
It’s been written so often that it’s become a cliché: Pinot Noir is a fickle grape that needs just the right conditions to thrive. 

Yet, Pinot’s popularity is such that we’re confronted by dozens of bottles from countless regions every time we enter a wine shop or open a wine list.

Here’s a way to cut through the clutter. Zero in on these six American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), hand-selected by our team of West Coast editors.


Anderson Valley, California

Truly gorgeous inside and out, Anderson Valley, a coastal Mendocino ­appellation due north of Sonoma County, is among California’s most chosen spots for cool-climate Pinot Noir, and a viticultural playground for producers from around the state.

Anderson Valley winds its way 15 miles between the roadside town of Boonville (where the locals speak their own language to ward off strangers), continuing northwest along remote stretches of vineyard and homesteads to the tiny town of Philo. It then continues for another 15 miles through Redwood forest toward the Pacific Ocean. 

It’s among the coolest places to grow grapes in the state—the annual average temperature hovers around 55˚F—with ocean fog drifting along the Navarro River, cramming into the valley’s hillsides and ridges. 

Here, grapes hang long and low, retaining their natural acidity. Sunlight arrives late and leaves early.
Temperatures vary by about 10 degrees from the valley’s northwestern end, nicknamed the Deep End, known for its prolonged seasons of cold nights and temperate days, to its warmer south. 
Thus, Pinots carry different characteristics in different pockets. Those grown closest to the ocean exhibit perfumed black cherry and raspberry, while those from the warmer ridges impart richer swirls of spice and darker fruit. 

They also impart hints of lavender and violet, in addition to an herbaceous characteristic sometimes traced to the valley’s proliferation of pennyroyal, a species of mint. 

With pretty red fruit, earth and spice on top of enviable structure, Anderson Valley Pinots pair well with meals. They have an ethereal quality, but also depth and richness, a proper alignment between acidity and weight.

Anderson Valley’s finest are made by estate properties, as well as many respected producers from outside of the area. —Virginie Boone

Vital Statistics

Date Established: September 1983
Size: 2,244 acres
Soil Type: Sandy, gravelly alluvial loam soils with plenty of clay at low elevations, acidic gravelly loam and clay on decomposing sandstone on the hillsides.
Number of Wineries: 35
Best Value Producers: Handley, Husch, Lazy Creek, Navarro
Elite Producers: Baxter, Black Kite Cellars, Breggo, Carpe Diem, Copain, Drew, Foursight, Goldeneye, Littorai, Toulouse, Williams Selyem

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The End of Crush 2013

As of this week, it's official: harvest 2013 is over at Foursight Wines. The last two weeks found us pressing off fermented Pinot Noir, barreling it all down, and reorganizing and cleaning the cellar. Equipment was put away, and we're now 98% buttoned up for the winter!

It was an early harvest, with our first block of Pinot Noir coming off the vine on September 5. The next 10 days were a brutal exercise in endurance and sleeplessness, with 99% of the grapes harvested with in that period. Even our Sauvignon Blanc, which was hit hard this spring with frost, then rain during bloom (thus reducing the crop) came in alongside the Pinot Noirs because of the reduced cropload.

We night picked, day picked, poured at Winesong! on the Mendocino Coast, poured in the tasting room, and planned our annual Fall Harvest Experience party. The last block to come off at Charles Vineyard was our estate Semillon, on September 19 -- right before the first sprinkles of the season.

Quality looks great overall. Mid-summer we were nervous about physiological ripeness (brown seeds and stems, etc.) catching up with rapidly increasing sugar levels due to the heat, but the cool August allowed the vines to get there before we picked. In fact, we had some of the most mature seeds and stems that we've seen in a while on most blocks. The vines knew it was an early season, and they were ready. We had just enough water to keep everything hydrated, and we're very happy with what came off the vine. Flavors are phenomenal this year, albeit with softer acids some past years.

We increased our production slightly this year, and have produced two new wines: an unoaked Pinot Noir, and a "Paraboll" Pinot Noir. The unoaked Pinot Noir was inspired by tasting our topping lots with customers, out of stainless kegs and carboys. So, we're producing a Pinot Noir that won't see any barrel influence. It will be fresh and fruity and easy to drink (and we'll be able to sell it for a great price because of the lack of $1000-a-pop barrels). The integrity of the fruit that comes off our Charles Vineyard shines through no matter the treatment, so we're certain that this will be an incredible wine.

We also produced a "Paraboll" Pinot Noir this year. To give the short version, our winemaker, Joe Webb, also worked with Londer Vineyards here in Anderson Valley. When the owners retired this year and closed the business, we made an agreement to continue to produce just one Pinot Noir -- the Paraboll blend. We are producing our take on Paraboll this vintage, with a specific blend of clones, different picking procedures, and a separate barrel program from our other Pinot Noirs. We're all very excited to see how it turns out!

One thing I'm the most proud of, personally, is that we all worked together (namely myself and my winemaker husband) without killing each other! We produced more wine than we have in several years, all in-house. This means that everything, including the whites, is 100% wild yeast, wild ML, and will be bottled unfined and unfiltered. That's rare anywhere in the world of modern winemaking.

Now we're looking at our first, full days off since bottling on August 27. I have the bubbles ready!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Crush Season, Here We Come!

We are quickly approaching bottling, then harvest season here at Foursight. This means that we come up for air some time in late October or early November. But it's also the most exciting time of year as what happens in the next few months will determine our entire product line, so to speak, from 2013.

This weekend we're preparing to bottle all our 2012 wines -- our three estate Pinot Noirs and two whites. As a small winery, we have a mobile bottling wine come to us for bottling,and we help work the line. The complicated part of bottling, however, is all in the prep work.

Months ago we sent our labels to the TTB for approval. We ordered our foil capsules, labels, corks, bottles, etc. We had to estimate wine quantities, then revise as the months went by. Bottles and
Bottling 2012
supplies were shipped to the screenprinter, shipped to us, picked up in Sonoma County, and taken out of storage. Wine was racked and put into tank. It's a long but necessary process to get to a final, bottled product that we can sell.

This year will be unusual because it will be an early harvest for the entire North Coast. We will likely start harvest the first week in September. Historically, this is when we would pick for sparkling wine (at much lower sugars), but this year our regular, still Pinot Noirs will come off the vine.

The early harvest is due to higher-than-average temperatures in June and July. Although August has been unseasonably cool, it has not been cool enough to reset the year back to average, if there is such a thing anymore.

An early harvest is not a negative thing, necessarily. Because sugars have accumulated so quickly, we still have really nice acid levels in the vineyard, meaning that the resulting wines should be quite nice. There have been no major heat spikes that came out of the blue, and no big rains (although we've had a few, unusual drizzles). As long as you could control mold and mildew in your vineyard, which we did, the fruit should be of very good quality.

So here's to a great crush 2013! I have been a very bad blogger this summer (I blame facebook, twitter and instagram for taking away my attentions), but will vow to update as regularly as time allows when the fruit starts to arrive.

See you all on the other side!

Monday, July 8, 2013

First-Ever Anderson Valley Barrel Tasting Weekend!

For the past month I've been planning the inaugural Anderson Valley Barrel Tasting Weekend -- to be held July 27 & 28, 2013.

This first-ever event is modeled both on barrel tastings held in other Calif. wine regions, and on the first few years of the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, which was called "Roll Out the Barrels" and was held at participating wineries throughout the valley.

At this first Anderson Valley Barrel Tasting Weekend, 18 local wineries will be featuring samples of yet-to-be-released wines, primarily Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs. There will be bites, music, great deals on futures of wines, and more.

At Foursight, our winemaker will be present to pour two separate 2012 Pinot Noirs straight from the barrel! We'll also be offering futures of the wines at 20% off (30% for wine club members), along with food and wine pairings, and more!

We purposefully didn't push ticket sales this year because we wanted it to be a nice, easy start to an event that we plan to cap at a reasonable amount of tickets. One of the goals of every event held in the valley is to create an environment where people can really visit with winemakers and proprietors, without being overcrowded or crazy. After all, our visitors come to Anderson Valley for the great wines, lack of traffic, and more intimate experiences.

Tickets are just $20 for both Saturday and Sunday. Each winery will be offering something a little different, but I know it will all be fantastic! We hope you join us for this great event!

You can purchase tickets here.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Animals Everywhere

We're dog-sitting two dogs right now, bringing the grand total to four dogs, a horse and a cat! And to think I almost bought a goat a few months ago...