Winery: Following a mutual passion for wine, Tobe and Dylan Sheldon traveled throughout thirteen countries, making wine in New Zealand and the south of France, getting married along the way. In 2002 they returned home, penniless, intent on following their dream of winemaking. With a borrowed basket press and a lot of foot stomping, they created their first 420 cases of Sheldon wine in 2003, now a Micro-Winery producing about 1,000 cases per year. Their goal is to strike a balance between sometimes austere European styling, and an overly fruity or barrel-heavy California style. “No new oak was harmed in the making of this wine. Unfinedand unfiltered, because sterile wines have no soul.”
Winemaking: Proudly using “circa 1900 State of the Art technology,” they follow a truly minimal intervention winemaking approach. They closely monitor ripening grapes by using their noses and palates, rather than relying on lab equipment. Hand harvesting and sorting, using open -top fermenters, hand punch-downs, gentle use of a basket press, the wine is then aged primarily in neutral French oak to allow the vineyard flavors rather than new oak to take center stage. The wines are racked according to lunar cycles to maximize gravitational lees compression before unfiltered and unfined bottling. A splash -decant opens these bright, understated wines to reveal more of their personality, and their nearly super-human length in the finish.
Vermentino “Las Brisas” Vineyard 2017, Carneros New Wine!
Winemaker:“Bright acidity, salinity, zip, citrus, stone fruit, silky viscosity.” A broad array of super-bright flavors, including peach, Fuji apple, orange zest, bright mint, minerality and a huge, rich and mouth-filling finish. Picked in multiple passes at brix varying between 18-25 degrees, whole-cluster pressed and fermented in stainless with no malolactic fermentation nor oak. 69 cases.
Winemaker Notes:“Floral notes of Jasmine green tea lead off, blueberry compote, mocha and five spice follow. Velvety tannins, medium plus body and well balanced acidity make this and all around crowd pleaser.” From only 13 Graciano acres in California, it was harvested at 22 brix, stainless-fermented, and then aged in neutral oak. 75 cases.
Grenache “Luc’s Vineyard” 2017, Fountaingrove AVA, Sonoma Valley 13.5% alcohol 92 Points, WE
Winemaker Notes:“The nose leads off with black raspberry, tart cherry, tea rose, fresh cedar, a touch of rich forest floor with floral tones and bright acidity. Flavor profile balances new and old world. It will evolve gracefully for many years.” Picked 2 weeks before the devastating Tubbs Fire torched Luc’s home and barn (being rebuilt), it was whole-cluster cold soaked, destemmed and aged in neutral oak. 36 cases!
Vinolocity Red Blend 2017, Napa / Sonoma 13.4% alcohol 92 Points, WE
92 Points, Wine Enthusiast:“This is an unusual commingling of old-vine Petite Sirah from the Napa Valley and Tempranillo from Luc’s Vineyard in Sonoma County. Made in a carbonic style in stainless steel, it tastes of fresh strawberry, raspberry, with a fresh floral aspect to the palate that’s juicy, plush and bursting with energy.”
Winemaker Notes:“The Tempranillo leads with black cherry, plum and racy currant. Spice and briar laced blackberry are offered up from the Petite, with secondary notes of savory herbs, fennel, and a touch of cedar.” Blended 50/50 Sonoma Valley Tempranillo and Napa Valley Petite Sirah. 50 cases made.
Petite Sirah Blend “The Red Hat” 2017 Old Vines, Collier Vineyard, Calistoga, Napa Valley 92 Points, WE NEW
Winemaker Notes: “Loads of exotic spice and savory aromatics lead off with lavender, sage and pink peppercorns. Fresh and juicy acidity leads to wild strawberry and black raspberry; finishing with medium body, and remarkably silky tannins considering the varietals at play here. The balance of savory old vine rusticity and vibrant fresh floral notes are the key players in the story of this old vine beauty.”
Yields of 1/2 ton per acre from dry-farmed, 80-85 year old head-pruned Petite Sirah vines, field-blended with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon crushed together, completely whole cluster co-fermented, basked pressed into neutral French oak. Unfiltered. Organically Farmed. 12.0% Alcohol. 25 cases.
Syrah 2016, Luc’s Vineyards, Fountaingrove AVA, Sonoma County 12.2% alcohol 92 Points, Grapelive NEW
92 Points, Grapelive: “Pretty plum, black raspberry, tart blueberry, cherry along with snappy spices led by cinnamon, sweet herbs and light cedary notes. With air and time it gains width and length adding peppery briar notes, structured tannin and lilac floral tones, creme de cassis and loganberry richness. Dances gracefully and is joyously tangy fresh easy to drink.” Tiny yields, rocky soil, no new oak, 25 cases made!
Syrah “Lindsay Blair” Hillside Syrah 2015, Sonoma Valley 13.5% alcohol NEW 92 Points, Grapelive
92 Points, Grapelive: “Meant to sell for $38 retail, it offers gorgeous seamless layers and detailed fruit – an amazing value. Flowers, dark fruits and light spices lead to flavors of Concord grape, blueberry and black raspberry fruits, a plummy mouth-feel and lush textures as well as pepper, anise, lavender, kirsch, smokiness, earth and sage. A remarkable wine, succulent and authentic with admirable length and delicacy at a fantastic price. One of the best buys I’ve seen this year.” A collaboration between Sheldon and Lindsay Blair. Primarily from the Beaucastel (Tablas Creek) Clone, with small clusters and berries, deep color and structure. 20% new French oak barrels. 123 cases
Available trade materials for download. (POS, Shelf Talkers, Data sheets)