This Alsatian-inspired true field blend is from the Merkel Vineyard in King Valley at more than 1,800 feet in elevation. Hand-harvested Riesling and Pinot Gris form this lip smacking, acid crushing white wine (the 2022 vintage omits the splash of Gewürztraminer). This vineyard is magnificent and features panoramic views of the surrounding valleys; it is quite the breathtaking vantage point, and a lovely spot to grow grapes. Panopticon, the all seeing eye, seemed appropriate, not only topographically but philosophically, for this is a wild area of true pioneers with more than their fair share of a rebellious streak. This was a term we Al & Sam first encountered at Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, a site of the incarceration of many an Irish patriot seeking independence, and the scene of the strike of 1923 that would influence so many to come. People making a stand for the future! So raise a glass of Panopticon and ponder the people doing their bit to protect some small sense of liberty and all those desperate to stop them.
A true field blend, this Riesling dominated blend was picked in the cool of night at the end of February at a mouth puckering 3.2pH and 10.3 baume, creating a laser focused wine. Crushed and pressed as one, the wine was treated relatively simple and was begging for a quick ferment and early release from the start. The grapes were hand-picked and pressed at 70% with no skin maceration apart from the transport from vineyard to winery. Once pressed it was cold settled, racked and then left to warm and undergo a natural ferment. Once through primary ferment it was sulfured immediately to avoid any MLF, settled again in stainless steel and racked once more. It then spent a month developing, at which point the boys decided its freshness was too good not to bottle up. Racked once more and bottled into the aluring retro blue riesling bottles without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur.