2018 Pey-Marin Dry Riesling "The Shell Mound," Marin County
- A refreshingly crisp and bone-dry Riesling 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
- Twenty-eight year-old site in deep, sandy soils provide excellent conditions for a truly unique wine
- No oak, no malo, and no blending showcases purity of well-drained, mature site and unique clonal provenance
Our “The Shell Mound” Riesling is estate grown in our twenty-five year-old vineyard located less than eight miles from the frigid Pacific Ocean in western Marin County. Our vineyard 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 areas. The net result is a very long & moderate 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). 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 28 days capturing its very delicate aromatics, steely, crisp texture and our vineyards terroir. After six months of intensive stirring on these three different yeast lees (develops mouthfeel) we bottled in May 2016 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.
2016 was a very good, but very small vintage in west Marin County. We saw lots of sunshine, long cool nights, limited rain and a long, warm fall. And there was no botrytis pressure until very late in the season. But cluster counts and cluster sizes were very small. In short, we were happy with the result – except the dismally low yields.