Monday, December 21, 2020

Fathers + Daughters Cellars Make Mark With Stellar Micro-Production Wines

Our first taste of this family winery showcases the terroir of Anderson Valley.

Fathers+Daughters Sarah's Rustic Bubbles

All In The Family

Fathers + Daughters Cellars is a boutique winery crafting wines from wines primarily from Anderson Valley’s Ferrington Vineyard. The output is a minuscule 600 cases, making each bottle of premium wine a true gem.

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The namesake fathers and daughters begin with patriarch Kurt Schoeneman, who is the owner of the storied Ferrington Vineyard. Daughter Sarah is married to Guy Pacurar. Together they have two daughters, Taylor and Ella. Together this clan has put its stamp on some truly magical wines.

We had the opportunity to sample three wines, all produced by winemaker Phil Baxter. Baxter studied enology at UC Davis and refined his skills in Burgundy before bringing his French Cellar methods and techniques back to northern California. Due to his dedication to the expression of terrier in Pinot Noir, Fathers + Daughters Cellars approached him to craft the inaugural release of their flagship wine, Ella’s Reserve Pinot Noir in 2012.

2018 Sarah’s Rustic Bubbles, Ferrington Vineyard, Anderson Valley

We were excited just looking at this bottle of sparkling wine. It is 100% Chardonnay sourced from the Roederer estate vineyard and the bright gold of the wine is cloudy with sediment. It is made using the Petillant-Natural method with fermentation started in stainless steel tanks and then finished in the bottle. Unlike the traditional method, there is no disgorgement and the wine is bottled unfiltered and unfined.

Fathers+Daughters focuses on single vineyard wines

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Rustic Bubbles is closed with a crown cap, adding to its unique style. It’s a wonderful wine with rustic complexity and texture. The flavor profile is apples and citrus and in more abundance than Champagne. The perlage creates a pleasing froth, but the bubbles are not as persistent as a traditional method wine.

We would dub this casual chic and at $21 SRP, it’s affordable luxury.

2019 Sauvignon Blanc, Ferrington Vineyard, Anderson Valley

Fathers + Daughters has produced a beautiful bottle with this Sauvignon Blanc. There’s no cut grass flavor and instead of over-the-top acidity, it delivers balanced flavors of tart citrus with cooling minerality.

This is a dry wine with refreshing notes. An ABV of 12.8% and stainless steel finish makes it a breeze to pair with food. It’s perfect for a summer picnic or a stay-at-home meal of poultry or fish. A new favorite wine at $25.

Fathers + Daughters Ella's Reserve Pinot Noir2017 Ella’s Reserve Pinot Noir, Ferrington Vineyard, Anderson Valley

This wine makes us say, “Hurrah for Pinot Noir.” This is the flagship wine made by Fathers + Daughters. It’s artfully produced, made with Dijon, Pommard, and Waldenswil clones which contribute their nuanced flavors.

Thirty-percent of the grapes were fermented whole-cluster, adding interest and character. Ella’s Reserve is fermented naturally with native yeast and also undergoes malolactic fermentation. Aging is 20 months in 25% once-used and 75% neutral French oak barrels.

When the bottle is opened, it’s time to forget about the painstaking care by the winemaker and just enjoy this gem. Violet and black cherry greet you on the front end. The texture is smooth and rounded with a touch of graphite and herbs to create complexity and interest.

A hundred cases were produced and it’s the signature wine for a reason. It’s very, very good. SRP is $52.

These are beautiful and stylish wines. We encourage you to get to know the family!

Full disclosure: These wines were received as a marketing sample.

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