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Jolie-Laide Wines

Jolie-Laide Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre North Coast 2021 (750 ml)

Jolie-Laide Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre North Coast 2021 (750 ml)

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43% Grenache, 43% Syrah, 14% Mourvèdre

Three hours north of San Francisco and just east of the Pacific Ocean in northern Mendocino County lies the majestic and isolated Alder Springs Vineyard. Since 1993, the property, led by proprietor Stuart Bewley, has grown a variety of grapes spread out between 31 blocks over 140 acres. At elevations between 1,700 to 2,700 feet the vineyard is known for its red Rhône varieties and regenerative farming (the entire property is in organic conversion). The individual microclimates of Alder Springs are what allows the Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes to shine both and collectively in the gravely soils of decomposed sandstone and quartz.

The grapes are harvested, foot stomped, fermented whole cluster, and aged individually. We rely on native yeasts to carry out the fermentation process before the wine is pressed to neutral barrique. The trio does not unite until the wine is blended for bottling. The wine rests in bottle for a year before release.

The 2021 Alder Springs GSM is truly special. A concentrated and lifted blend that showcases elegant tannins behind lush blue fruits, plum, and spice. 13.8% 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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