2020 Deux Punx California Piquette
Region: San Benito County + Clarksburg < California
Grapes: Carignan, Picpoul, Assyrtiko, Pinot Gris
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming at both vineyards; 24-hours on well water, pressed, 3 weeks in stainless barrels; bottled un-disgorged, with no added So2; zero-zero; 7.7% ABV; 52 cases
Winemaker: Dan Schaaf & Aaron OlsonDan Schaaf, former skateboarder now water-resources engineer, and his partner Aaron Olson, former punk band drummer turned software engineer, have no intention of ever trading the security of their straight gigs for full-time winemaking. Because they don't want to be dependent on the income from wine to put food on the table - lest it change their motivation for natty winemaking and affordability. They met in 2005 and bonded over this shared punk attitude. Their motto: “Deux Punx are the antidote the wine industry needs. Utter crassness! No training, no affiliations and plans to keep it that way. Punk rock ethos insist wines are made frugally and sold for honest prices.”
The parallels between their love of punk/skate culture and the
back-to-basics, anti-establishment ethos of natural winemaking are
clear. They're all about risk and freedom, having skipped skilled
formal winemaking training, instead taking a DIY approach. Schaaf
says: “Aaron and I have always said, ‘let’s not be influenced, let’s
be outsiders a little bit.” And while they've come a long way, they're
still on the fringe -- and happy to stay there. They started with a
60 case production in 2007, and are now up to a whopping 700 cases total across 8 or so different wines.
But this is their first piquette, and it is delicious! They're using the skins and must from first pressings of four different red and white grapes from two organic vineyards to do a second press with pristine well water, resulting in the lower-ABV wine-like beverage known as piquette -- a modern wine cooler of sorts. Though the concept is far from modern, dating back to Roman times and produced through the ages for farm workers, as a lunch beverage that wouldn't get them drunk (and less productive). Neon pinky red and punchy, this one drinks like tart grapefruit kombucha with a Sweet Tart tang. RAw, alive and totally crushable, this is breakfast juice, picnic juice, day drinking juice -- an anywhere, anytime refresher that won't knock you down, even if you finish the whole bottle...