E16 Wine Company
Single Vineyard Cool Climate Varietals – Sebastopol, CA
E16 is a new producer of single vineyard, small-lot Burgundy varietals from California’s most revered appellations, E16 partners with celebrated and distinguished growers committed to sustainability and expressing the terroir of their sites. Founded by 3rd generation winegrower Robert Jones, E16 is named after the highway leading to Robert’s original vineyard. The winery is co-piloted by winemaker Daniel Moore, formerly the original winemaker for Martinelli and later at Lynmar for 13 years. 2013 is their second vintage release.
Winemaking and Vineyards
The E16 style is to find a balance between layered fruit and bright acidity. Winemaker Daniel Moore orchestrates every aspect of the winemaking process, grounded by his year-round involvement in vineyards owned by growers with whom he has long standing relationships in 30 years of vintage experience. Hand-sorted, de-stemmed and cold soaked for 3-5 days until native fermentation begins, wines are occasionally inoculated with yeasts that minimize alcohol levels, while keeping acidity bright at 6 g/L. Punched down in open top fermenters, the single vineyard wines are all free-run juice. Wines are aged in House-Toast barrels from a variety of coopers, with the goal of rounding flavors and softening textures rather than extracting wood tannins. Wine is nitrogen-racked rather than pumped. Moore decides for each vineyard the specific regimen for winter pruning, leaf removal, crop thinning, irrigation as well as the timing of harvest, believing that attention to detail is the way to capture the terroir of each site.
The Baby Rattlesnake Vineyard honors Robert’s grandfather’s winegrowing legacy with year-round hand-cultivation and sustainable farming. With a warm, dry growing season, high 2400 foot elevation, cool overnight temperatures and well-drained granitic soils, it is ideal for the 16 Rhone varietals planted there. Baby Rattlesnake was so-named when Robert’s 3-year-old son picked up a juvenile rattler, and put it down without incident.
White Blend 2019, (Firefall label) “Baby Rattlesnake Vineyard,” El Dorado
This 60% Grenache Blanc/ 40% Viognier was mountain-grown, southeast facing at 2300 feet with cool evenings, creating a bright and crisp wine filled with mountain-grown concentration. Superbly aromatic with flowers, peach cobbler and beeswax. Round and fleshy, yet also crisp and bright with fruit and underlying minerality, loaded with peach and nectarine, lychee, citrus flowers, creamsicle and a long creamy, zingy finish. Made with no oak, stainless-fermented. 223 cases.
Grenache Blanc, “Baby Rattlesnake Vineyard,” El Dorado 2019 13.7% Alcohol
91 Points, Wine Enthusiast: “This tantalizing, dry and tangy wine offers a rather rich texture contrasting with steely, crisp flavors like Pippin apples, white pepper and lemon zest. Complexity and good balance come together nicely.” This 83% Grenache Blanc (with 17% Viognier) was mountain-grown, southeast facing at 2300 feet with cool evenings, creating a bright and crisp wine filled with exotic tropical, golden-fruit and citrus flower and pineapple aromas. Fermented in open top stainless tanks. No oak. 146 cases.
Chardonnay, “Lazy W Vineyard,” Russian River Valley 2018
Winery Notes: “Lemon shortbread, white flowers & mandarin peel, hints of chalk and sea salt in the nose. Flavors of Key Lime and elderflower, Bourbon vanilla, browned butter on the back. The palate has refreshing acidity and supportive oak. Crisp and stylish.” This new vineyard on West End Road is warm at noon but cooled by afternoon breezes, cool morning and evening fog. Williams Selyem winery used fruit from this acclaimed vineyard for many years. 20% new French oak, aged 11 months. 186 cases.
Pinot Noir, Doctor’s Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands 2018
Winery Notes: “Ripe red berries kick off this uplifting wine. With light notes of fresh brush. Velvety and elegant flavors of red currant and black tea. This stunningly silky wine shows dazzling red fruit flavors and a vibrant texture.” The Doctor’s Vineyard is located in the middle stretch of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. Ranging from 400-700 feet in elevation. Planted with wide row spacing on East facing benches offers great sun exposure, allowing the fog to burn off early in the day. The fruit was picked from the gently sloping upper bench where the fog burns off early, allowing a union of climate, sandy loam soils and Pommard clone to produce small crops that translate to complex wines. Aged 11 months in 25% new French oak. 370 cases.
GSM Blend, Baby Rattlesnake Vineyard, El Dorado 2018 New E16 Wine!
Winery Notes: “Elegant bouquet of sage, leather, violets & licorice. Vibrant flavors of mint, elderberry & exotic spices. This inaugural vintage is a unique and delicious gift from the Fairplay AVA.” With elevations reaching 2400 feet, the cool overnight temperatures help form favorable grape acidity that provides artistic counterpoint to the layered fruit in the finished wine grapes. Blended of 43% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 27 % Mourvèdre. Aged 11 months in French Oak barrels. 168 cases
Barbera, Baby Rattlesnake Vineyard, Fair Play AVA, El Dorado 2018 New Wine! 92 Points, Wine Enthusiast, Editor’s Choice: “Incredible, effusive and concentrated fruit aromas leap from the glass in this full-bodied, generous and focused wine grown at 2,300 feet. It pours out black cherry, tart cherry and blackberry fruit, framing them nicely in moderate tannins and good acidity.” Grown in well-drained, granitic and sandy soils at 2300 feet in elevation, the warm and dry growing season has cool nights which promote acidity. French oak aged. 275 cases.