I could not be happier to introduce this new wine to our lineup as it is a dream come true to finally get my hands on this fruit. For nearly ten years, the Counoise at Glenrose Vineyard was part of the Lone Madrone winemaking program, and while I worked there it was one of my favorite wines to work with. Eventually the contract expired, Lone Madrone had planted a new site, and I was offered one row of the best Counoise grown in Paso Robles. These 20-year-old vines are planted on a ridge of pure limestone that faces south and are the Tablas Creek clone of Counoise. Although this grape is known for its elegance, it needs to bask in the sun to get sufficiently ripe and generally picks around the same time as Mourvèdre, the latest ripening of the Rhone varietals.
The fruit was picked on October 2nd, destemmed and fermented in a 2-ton stainless steel tank. After fermentation was complete the wine was racked to neutral French barrels, aged for just two months, and then sterile filtered for clarity and to enhance its freshness and spice. This wine is elegant, ethereal, and an absolute pleasure to drink. Counoise is the Pinot Noir of the Rhone Valley; once you pop the cork you better pay attention, because before you know it, the bottle is empty.