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Jolie-Laide Wines

Jolie-Laide Aligoté California 2022 (750 ml)

Jolie-Laide Aligoté California 2022 (750 ml)

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The first Aligoté from Jolie-Laide; years in the making. The 2022 Aligoté is the first fruit of two vineyards: Las Cimas and Siletto. The Aligoté block at Las Cimas Vineyard sits just under 800 feet in elevation in the northern region of the Russian River Valley. The north-east facing slope of this block combined with the coastal breezes and fog of the Pacific coast allow the grapes to maintain a high level of freshness with the perfect amount of sun exposure. The land is composed of complex Franciscan soils normally unique to the Yorkville Highlands. South of San Francisco in the
cool tunnel valley of San Benito County, Siletto Family Vineyards is planted on south facing slopes and alluvial gravely loam. This organic vineyard lies around 600 feet in elevation. Together the two vineyards combine to allow us to produce an aromatic, bright, and pure expression of Aligoté. The wine has an oceanic salinity and a sense of restraint that relaxes and expresses itself fully after some time open in the bottle.

The Aligoté grapes are whole cluster pressed then fermented and aged in concrete eggs and neutral puncheons. Only native yeast is used to complete
primary and malolactic fermentation.

Floral and elegant; vibrant and fresh. Forelle pear and green apples acidity; white flowers with an abundance of wet rock minerality. 12.5% ABV

Jolie-Laide is a two-person operation based in Sebastopol. The name Jolie-Laide translates loosely to Pretty-Ugly, a French term of endearment to describe something that is unconventionally beautiful.  Founded originally by Scott Schultz, and later joined by his partner Jenny Schultz, their winemaking method is simple: grapes are left whole cluster, foot crushed, and aged in neutral oak. All ferments are done with native yeasts, for both primary and secondary fermentations (no inoculation), and the musts tend to be low pH/high acid, allowing for no added SO2 at the press, and minimal at bottling (12-15 PPM free SO2 for the early drinking cuvees, 20-25 PPM free SO2 for bigger reds).  They work with a handful of growers, all of whom farm organically (none certified); it is their ability to seek out spectacular vineyard sites which allows them to be hands off in the winemaking process.

Scott’s passion for wine was ignited when he moved to Napa from Chicago in 2007.  Scott began his transition into the winemaking world after a move to Napa for employment as Wine Director at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in Napa Valley. As he explains, “everyone I met was a winemaker, so on my days off I followed people around to see what they were doing." Before he knew it, he had secured the cellar master job at Realm Winery. That was followed by working with Arnot-Roberts, and then joining Pax Mahle in the same capacity working on the Pax and Wind Gap labels. Scott’s passion for winemaking grew so significantly that he decided to start his own project, Jolie-Laide, in 2010. 

One feature to note – the labels change every year, featuring a different artist or art collective. “Our wines are a celebration of the year and seasons in which they are made, always unique and different, no two bottlings are ever the same.”

Scott and Jenny’s approach is a natural one, a less is more ethos. But their keen eye for finding great fruit from only sustainably and responsibly-farmed sites, coupled with an impressive natural talent, lead to consistently delicious wines.  As Scott says, “The do-nothing approach isn’t new by any means; it’s just funny how far many have gotten away from it.”

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