Embarking on our mission to engulf Cordant in Pinot Noir, we explored many roads less travelled. But we found ourselves surrounded by so much more. To say we stumbled upon things we couldn’t say “no” to is an understatement.
With a base idea and an open mind we were introduced to exceptional vineyards of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache, and more, all up and down the California Central Coast. The objective then became acquainting ourselves with the unique sites that have the most to say, and to do our best to tell their story.
This approach can only excel if we pay close attention to, and learn to work in harmony with these premium locations. In the cellar this same philosophy of “keeping an open mind” crosses over, where our game plan is simple and minimalist. When you pay attention to the grapes, they tell you what they need. It’s never the other way around.
Some wines are meant to be blended. In fact, an enjoyable aspect of winemaking is the experimentation requisite with blending trials that leads to the finished product, obsessing over just the right amount of this and that. With Nelle our focus is to start with great vineyard sources, and to create a resulting wine that is even better than the individual vineyard sources, whether through co-fermentation or blending. At harvest most decisions are made on the fly, after “listening” to what the grapes are telling us from the vineyard. For instance, co-fermentation of independent lots, a technique we often employ for certain vineyard sites, can be rewarding because the result can yield increased complexity and flavor integration. For lots we choose keep independent through fermentation, we use ongoing blending trials throughout the year as the wine evolves in the barrel. These blending trials allow us to get properly acquainted with our wines to ensure they end up with proper mates.