2013 Pey-Marin Vineyards Riesling "The Shell Mound", Marin County
"California's consistently most successful Riesling."
- Connoisseur's Guide to California Wine, October 2014
Our aim is to showcase our Marin County vineyards soils and uniquely cool climate attributes by crafting Riesling.
• A refreshingly crisp and dry Riesling organically grown on the chilly western coast of Marin County
• Rare "Neustadt" clone offers a bright, steely and very delicate aromatic and flavor profile at modest alcohol
• Winemaking and coastal site showcases purity of well-drained, mature site and unique clonal provenance
Our “The Shell Mound” Riesling is grown in a twenty-four year-old vineyard located less than eight miles from the frigid Pacific Ocean in western Marin County. This site is heavily influenced by the cold Pacific Oceans considerable climatic prowess. Bud break is earlier than neighboring regions, but “set” and harvest are later than other nearby areas. The net result is a very long & cool growing season. The vineyard terrain has rolling coastal hills and its soil profile is decomposed marine sandstone which drains well and is moderately fertile. The site is farmed incorporating organic and sustainable viticultural practices (composting, hand tilling, and diverse cover crops) and is hand-pruned and picked. Our frigid vineyard site gives us naturally high acidity, a hallmark of the great Riesling’s of northern Europe.
Riesling is a noble grape which ruthlessly expresses a purity of place. So for Pey-Marin Riesling we incorporate no new oak, no blending and no malolactic to alter the pure expression of its terroir. Our compact Riesling bunches were hand-harvested and hand-sorted in the field and gently whole cluster pressed (a la champagne method) with multiple press “cuts” to separate the lots. This is a luxury rarely given to Riesling, but we continue to afford it this decadent treatment. After settling, the juice was inoculated using three separate yeasts (Rudisheimer, Colmar & Wadenswil) and cold fermented (59° F) for 27 days capturing its very delicate aromatics, steely, crisp texture and our vineyards terroir. A small, three-barrel fraction saw maturation in neutral French oak barrels, adding texture and mouth-feel. After five months of intensive stirring on these three different yeast lees we bottled in April 2014 into a stelvin-sealed bottle which perfectly preserves its freshness. We call this special wine “The Shell Mound” after the many mounds of oyster shells left by our predecessors across western Marin County.
2013 was a terrific vintage in west Marin County. We saw sunshine, long cool nights, limited rain and a long, warm fall. Due to the dry conditions, botrytis pressure didn’t arrive until very late in the season.