2017 Lichen Blanc de Noir, Anderson Valley, California (750ml)

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In the year 2000, Douglas and Ana Lucia Stewart bought a 203-acre farm in the heart of Anderson Valley, located halfway between Boonville and Philo. They founded Breggo Cellars in 2005, buying fruit from the most renowned vineyards in Anderson Valley. Soon after releasing their first vintage, accolades for their wines started rolling in; Breggo became the highest rated winery in Mendocino County history. In 2009 they sold the brand but kept the land, with an eye toward starting a new venture—Lichen Estate—focused on sparkling and still wines made from their own estate fruit. In 2008, they planted seven acres to Pinot Noir (75%) and Pinot Gris (25%). Looking to reset the bar for Anderson Valley wines, and inspired by the Grand Cru vineyards of Burgundy and Champagne, they chose high-density, meter-by-meter spacing. This meant planting four times more vines per acre than most vineyards in the area—a whopping 30,000—which they have farmed organically from the outset.

Made of 100% Pinot Noir from their Martini & Pommard clone blocks, the grapes were harvested and immediately whole-cluster pressed. This Blanc de Noirs contains only the Cœur de Cuvée (the “heart” of the cuvée). The cœur cut delivers higher acidity and a more focused fruit character, which contributes to the wine’s complexity and longevity. Fermentation was in stainless-steel tanks, then the wine was moved to Hungarian Oak puncheons for three months, then back to tank. The blend benefitted from 32 months en tirage and delivers classic grower-producer Champagne characteristics. Quite a feat for a sparkling wine from Mendocino County, and one of the reasons why we are so happy to feature it as part of our Wine Club. 11.0 g/l dosage. 239 cases produced.

Soft golden hue, with a fine, persistent mousse and aromas of citrus, cherry and a touch of pastry dough. The palate is broad and inviting, showing cherries upon cherries, more red fruits, and a lively, acid backbone. A generous bubbly that strikes a balance between California opulence and classic French elegance.

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