Release 28 - January 2019

Foot of the Bed Cellars 2014 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Winemaker: Steve Bell of  Campana Ranch Winery

Winemaker: Steve Bell of Campana Ranch Winery

Call Us Old Fashioned

Trends in the wine market come and go. In the first half of the twentieth century, sweet wines were wildly popular. Later on, dry blends, both red and white, became commonplace in America. Crisp Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand gained a global presence in the 1990s. Then in the early 2000s, full-bodied, heavily oaked Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley became a highly sought-after style. In 1982, Kendall-Jackson crafted their first vintage of Reserve Chardonnay. Since then, richly textured Chardonnay has become and remains the bestselling white wine category in the United States. Despite the call in recent years from some consumers for fresher, lighter white wines, Chardonnay is the most-grown grape in California, covering even more acreage than Cabernet Sauvignon.

Beurre Et Noisettes

While “buttery” Chardonnay is often thought of as an American tradition, the style’s roots are in France. Beurre, the French word for butter and noisettes, or hazelnuts, are terms often used to describe the Chardonnay-based wines of Burgundy, France. Although the use of oak barrels can play a key role in producing the baking spice, toast, and butterscotch notes that Chardonnay drinkers know and love, there are often many other winemaking techniques employed as well for this particular grape. Most of these techniques originated in France and were later adopted by the great winemakers of California. Steve Bell worked for famed names such as Freemark Abbey and Benziger before founding his own small winery. This bottling, from 2014, shows tropical fruit tones typical of the sunny Russian River Valley as well as deep nutty notes due to the additional time in bottle.

Foot of the Bed Cellars 2017 Mendocino County Petite Sirah

Winemakers: Gina Schoeber and Jake Stover of  Sans Wine Co .

Winemakers: Gina Schoeber and Jake Stover of Sans Wine Co.

Different Backgrounds Working Together

Gina Schoeber got her start in wine while working as a sommelier, first in San Francisco and later at Bouchon in Yountville. Jake Stover grew up in Kansas and came out to California for an internship at Failla Wines. He stuck around, learned several facets of the business, and ended up founding his own vineyard management company that specializes in organic grape growing. They met in Napa and later married and founded Sans Wine Co.

When Less is More

Sans, the French word for “without,” emphasizes the pure nature of all of the wines Gina and Jake craft. No pesticides are used in the vineyards, and no additives make their way into the wines, which are then canned with almost no sulfur. Since 2015, Sans has been at the forefront of the trend towards high-end wines ending up in cans rather than bottles. Featured in publications such as Cosmopolitan, the Washington Post, and Decanter Magazine, Sans wines are consistently noted for being delicious, in addition to being environmentally responsible. We feel lucky that we were able to obtain a small quantity of this Petite Sirah. A slightly lighter wine than our previous Petite Sirah release nearly two years ago, this shows notes of purple plum, black raspberry, and cracked white pepper.

Martin Sheehan-Stross