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Region: Anderson Valley
Grapes: Pinot Gris
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Biodynamic farming, limestone soils, low added SO2
Winemaker: Doug Stewart
Doug Stewart of Lichen Estates makes two wines under the North Coast All Stars label, from purchased rather than estate fruit. But man, it’s good fruit – from Filigreen vineyard, a renowned biodynamic grower, certified organic and biodynamic (Demeter), in one of the coldest parts of Anderson Valley. Vines here take deep root in the well-drained, gravelly soils, while the extremely cold temperatures extend the growing season for long, even ripening. The site is cultivated with compost teas and is 100% sulfur free. Whole clusters are pressed, and some juice ferments in stainless and some is barrel-aged in neutral puncheons, lending nice body and round mouthfeel to the wine. More Alsatian-style Pinot Gris than the frothy, often insipid Pinot Grigio, with honey-tinged fruit, golden apple and spicy pear notes. With enough weight and acidity to cut through some fat, and a touch of RS to highlight the sweet notes, this is a fantastic cheese wine! Only 174 cases made.