A Vineyard Update with La Pitchoune Winemaker Andrew Berge

Pratt CH 3[1]Winemaker Andrew Berge checks in with us after a vineyard visit that he recently made.

For those not familiar with Andrew, he is a phenomenal up-and-coming winemaker. Some say he has already arrived. Andrew makes the wines at both La Pitchoune (The 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir from La Pitchoune was our #5 Rated Pinot Noir tasted last year.) and Spell Estate (Learn more about Spell Estate). He was also a long time assistant winemaker to Bill Hunter of Chasseur. The man KNOWS his way around a barrel room.

Andrew Berge’s harvest update:

Pratt CH Cluster 051315Following one of the earliest bud breaks in California history, we experienced some unseasonably warm weather for Sonoma County. The conditions were ideal for early growth, with warm days and mild nights. Concerns of frost were unwarranted as the night time temps rarely threatened 32 degrees Fahrenheit at our vineyard sites. Recently, the weather has been a variable mix of warm and mild to cool and windy with a few rare days of rainy weather thrown in for excitement. This fickle weather is not ideal during flowering and set, but it could be worse.

Our vineyard sites are partially through this very important phase of the process from a viticultural standpoint, with some blocks just starting to flower and other blocks almost completely set. It will be another week or two before we know for certain if the current mix of weather has had any effect on the 2015 crop yields. However, based on cluster counts and cluster sizes, Sonoma County could experience another larger than average grape harvest if the weather turns out to be a non-issue.

A little bit about La Pitchoune.

La Pitchoune has an exclusive contract with McLaren Automotive where buyers of their high performance sports cars (A McLaren 650S runs $300k+ and a McLaren P1 is around $1.3M) receive a bottle of La Pitchoune Rose and Pinot Noir. If you aren’t in the mood to spend $300k+ on a car right now, we’re offering an alternative way to acquire these superb wines. La Pitchoune wines aren’t distributed, and they aren’t sold in restaurants

Inspired by a small family property in the South of France, La Pitchoune means ‘the little one.’ The name speaks to small production, small lots, and the idea that La Pitchoune’s small size is its greatest asset. At La Pitchoune, they prize the special care they can apply to their craft. By combining passion, art and science, they ensure that each blend is expressed to its fullest potential. Learn more about how La Pitchoune makes their Rose.

According to Wine Spectrum Senior Advisor Brian Dunlap the 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir reminds him of Williams Selyem, Gary Farrell, and…

la pitchoune PN


Wines from Andrew Berge and La Pitchoune.

2012 La Pitchoune Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

Wine Spectrum 95: The 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a perfect representation of what a La Pitchoune wine should be; elegant, restrained, and yet full of flavor. It is also an excellent reflection of its origin. The soil, the fog, and the influence of the cool ocean air make an impression in the glass. Upon the first sip, the superb viscosity will not go unnoticed. Notes of black cherries, orange blossoms, and the suggestion of black tea soon follow, and continue to tempt the senses. The finish is deliciously intact, with a distinct characteristic of freshly ground black pepper. While this wine is more than happy to stand up on its own, pairing it with some food will set the tone and enhance any meal. Decanting recommended. Aged in French oak for 11 months. 270 cases produced. Drink 2015 – 2025.

2013 La Pitchoune Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

Wine Spectrum 93+:  Our 2013 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir is an expressive, salmon colored pink wine with a wonderful crisp berry taste and vibrant acidity. Aromas of sweet berries, rose petals, and a hint of lime give way to flavors of strawberries, watermelon, and citrus that will not only awaken your palate, but will also be the perfect pairing with almost any food. This is a mouth-watering Vin Gris that is a fantastic companion for a sunny afternoon on the bocce court, or an aperitif to start a memorable evening. And perfect with lighter Spring fare! Serve chilled. 100% Pinot Noir aged in 100% French oak. 79 cases produced!

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