Chardonnay – Bacigalupi Vineyard – Russian River Valley
100% Chardonnay, Old Wente clone.
The fruit is sourced from Bacigalupi, one of the most famous vineyards in the Russian River Valley. In 1976, Bacigalupi grapes were part of the Château Montelena blend that won the famous “Paris Tasting”, effectively putting California wines on the map. The vineyard continues to deliver extraordinary quality commensurate with its renowned terroir. The parcel for this cuvée has the “old school” California canopy that allows the fruit to ripen to full physiological maturity without sunburn. Traditional old world techniques, such as native yeast fermentation, bâtonnage and extended lees aging yield a rich, complex wine. The wine is fermented and aged for 15 months in Latour barrels only – all French oak, 45% new, then bottled unfiltered. Aromas of white stone fruit and apple pie are complemented by nuances of vanilla bean and almond shell. On the entry a lush texture of citrus and candied apple fans out across the mid-palate, enhanced by a distinct minerality framing the lengthy finish. This famous vineyard delivers exceptional consistency from vintage to vintage expressing its pedigree as one of California’s finest. 478 cases produced.
In 2015, the fruit was ready just as the last 2013 Cabernets rolled off the bottling line. Looking back at the growing season, one word comes to mind: “early”. Early bud break, early veraison and early harvest. Perhaps the cultural year was affected most by a warm winter followed by a cool spring limiting the crops yield to levels below average. A light crop typically results in a quality vintage and 2015 was no different.
About the Producer
Peter Paul Wines seeks to showcase the sunny, easygoing temperament of fruit grown in California without losing the more refined elements of the grape’s DNA and European heritage. Each of their wines presents the hallmark characteristics of the terroir, while hitting that sweet spot of ripe but not overblown, elegant but not anemic, with everything in proper proportion.
When Peter was a just a teenager in the early 1960s, his father purchased a case of Château d’Yquem on sale at $10 a bottle and he became hooked on wine before being old enough to buy it. Meanwhile a job in the financial services industry brought him to Southern California in 1975. Two years later, Peter “escaped” to northern California where wine country beckoned as it always does. Today, Peter is the CEO of Headlands Asset Management LLC, an investment management company he founded in 2008. But for Peter, becoming a vintner was clearly something that was going to happen sooner or later. In 2002, the first vintage of Peter Paul Wines was bottled. Over a decade and numerous critical scores and awards later, Peter Paul Wines is a well-respected yet small virtual California winery. With barely 2,000 cases produced annually, Peter Paul sources grapes from select vineyards in both Napa and Sonoma counties.
Martin Reyes is the GM and winemaker at Peter Paul Wines. A first-generation American, Martin is the first Master of Wine of Mexican descent. With a 16-year career as a respected buyer, importer, and educator, he has held influential roles in many sectors of the industry. Martin’s wine story began with an over-indulgent dinner while studying in Paris as a Stanford undergrad and, by 2003, he was stocking shelves at his local wine shop. After working the retail side for several years, Martin became the principal buyer for an importer operating prominent wine club programs for partners like The New York Times and Williams-Sonoma. In 2015, he was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top Forty under Forty Tastemakers. In his free time, Martin teaches WSET courses, attempts to become fluent in a fifth language, and raises his daughter trilingually, together with his wife in Vallejo, CA.
Trevor Smith acts as vineyard and winemaking consultant. Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, he attended Texas A&M University and received a BA in History. After three years in the service, he began working in wine retail in Dallas, Texas before returning to Oregon and working on the production side. After winemaking stints in the Willamette Valley, Barossa Valley and Napa Valley he has settled in Sonoma County and joined the Peter Paul team in 2020.