Las Jaras

Las Jaras is a joint project between Eric Wareheim (of Master of None and the Tim and Eric Awesome ShowGreat Job! fame) and his friend Joel Burt, who has been making wine in Napa and Sonoma since the early 2000’s. The project started as a result of Eric and Joel’s shared passion for authentic wines. In their own words:

“At Las Jaras, our goal is to make delicious wine that has tons of energy and balance. We want them to be vibrant, delicate, and supple all at the same time while also being food friendly and easy for anyone to enjoy. Our wines are designed to reflect the unique terroir of the vineyards using minimal intervention so you can taste their natural, rhythmic expression. If you are not used to drinking wines made this way, the experience can be a revelation.

Our lighter wines can elevate your daily experiences. Bring the elegant bubbles of our Sparkling Wine to your best friends engagement party. Nestle the Rosé into your backpack for a trip to the park to watch an epic sunset. Pair the chilled Glou Glou with a margherita pizza to make takeout tastier. 

Our medium bodied reds pair with deep savory meals and create thought provoking moments. A holiday dinner includes a conversation about Carignan. The Cabernet Sauvignon is brought to your favorite restaurant to share a taste with your server. “Does this remind you of 70’s Napa?” And our Sweet Berry Wine demands explanation, inspires stories, and creates joy. For your Wine!”

https://lasjaraswines.com

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Sparkling Carignan — Back to the top

“This is the second vintage of our sparkling wine made using this method. We wanted to explore making a full pressure wine with sufficiently ripe grapes that would not require long aging, multi-vintage blending, or dosage. We are unsure what to call this method of winemaking. It is kind of like a cross between the traditional method (picked early, dual fermentation, high pressure, often sweetened) and a pétillant naturel (picked ripe, single fermentation, low pressure, sometimes finishes sweet.) You can think of our method as a high pressure, naturally balanced wine without sugar added.”

Vineyard: 100% old vine Carignan from McNabb Ranch Vineyard situated between Hopland and Ukiah in Mendocino County. These grapes are the same ones used to make the base wine for our 2017 still Rosé. We split the sparkling portion off at mid-ferment.

Winemaking: The hand-picked grapes were whole cluster pressed to a tall skinny stainless steel tank. After racking the clear juice at 150 NTU, we kept the juice cold in tank and circulated it on the lees weekly for six weeks using the “stabulation” technique. When the wine started to tick, we set the cooling on the tank to 68°F and let the wine ferment naturally. When the wine reached about 3 brix we chilled the tank to arrest fermentation. We let the tank sit cold for several weeks to clarify and cold stabilize. When it was time to bottle, we racked the wine, added a small amount of organic yeast extract (food for the yeast) and a yeast culture that was built up from an isolate on a slant. The wine was stored sur latte (on its side) for six months and sur pointe (upside down) for two months before it was disgorged. We simply topped the bottles and did not add any sugar or sulfur.

Production: 467 Cases

Alc: 11.98%

TA: 6.27 g/L

pH: 3.18

Total SO2: 18 ppm

VA: 0.34

g/L RS: 0.03 %

Pressure: 6.53 Bar


Rosé — Back to the top

“General thoughts on Rosé… Rosé should be fresh and vibrant, delicious and gulpable. You can’t just simply pick grapes earlier for rosé, because the wine will be out of balance. The grapes need to achieve appropriate ripeness for a great rosé. We handpick the grapes early in the morning and get them to the winery as early as possible. We want to minimize skin contact and phenolic extraction. Usually, we want to avoid malo-lactic fermentation, but this year the malo-lactic fermentation finished during primary fermentation.”

Vineyard: 100% Carignan sourced from McNabb Ranch Vineyard, which is between Hopland and Ukiah in Mendocino. These old vines were planted in the early 1950’s. The vineyard is dry farmed. The soils are Cole loam and the vineyard is covered with turkey mullein. Carignan in the area is quite prone to powdery mildew, but the grower does a great job of managing it with sulfur dust and canopy management. These vines stand at about 8 feet tall, which really allows air and light to penetrate the canopy.

Winemaking: We picked the vineyard at 20.1 brix. The handpicked grapes were whole cluster pressed in a horizontal bladder press. The free-run juice and press up to 1.6 bar was taken to tank. There was no skin contact and minimal tumbles. The juice was cold settled and racked. The juice was kept on its fine lees and stirred weekly for 6 weeks to allow the big fruity flavors to subside and more floral ones to take their place. Once the wine started to tick off, we let it ferment with native yeast. Fermentation was at 60-65F. Once fermentation finished, we kept it on its gross lees and stirred (inertly) twice a month until just before bottling. The wine was fined prior to bottling with a small amount of bentonite to heat stabilize and pack down the lees. The wine was not cold stabilized.

Production: 890 Cases

Alc: 11.9%

TA 6.1 g/L

Total SO2: 40ppm

pH 3.23

VA: 0.49

g/L

RS: 1.15 g/L


Chloe Carignan — Back to the top

“General thoughts on Carignan: Carignan is such an intriguing variety for us. At its best it is juicy, brambly and spicy. At its worst it is tannic, sour, and tastes like cabbage. It can also be quite difficult to grow. They are generally vigorous old vines that stand 7-8 feet tall. The vine is extremely prone to powdery mildew infection, so it needs meticulous canopy management to avoid disaster. Site selection is important for this variety to perform. It needs to be on benchland, with properly draining sandy loam soils and a hot climate. The light soils help regulate the vine’s vigor and the heat helps respire acid, which can be absolutely searing on this variety.

Vineyards: 100% Carignan sourced from Gary Venturi’s vineyard in the Calpella area of Mendocino County near Ukiah on the benchlands to the west of the valley. Gary and his dog, Kelsey, tend the vines. They were planted in the mid-1960’s. The vineyard is dry farmed and sustainable. The soils are Yokayo series sandy loam. When dry it is like walking on the moon. The vineyard is super clean due to Gary’s fastidious suckering and canopy management. I think it’s also due to being on the right soil for Carignan. It only needs 1-2 sulfur dustings per season.

Winemaking: We hand-picked the vineyard at 23 brix. Gary has a few vines of Golden Chasellas growing on the property so we asked to have them added to the pick. When the grapes arrived at the winery, we tipped half of the bins into the open top fermentor as whole clusters and we destemmed the rest. We added no SO2 and kept the tank jacket set a 72ºF. We were very gentle when handling this variety because it can be really tannic especially with such concentrated fruit. We used only light punchdowns, just wetting the cap. We did one punchdown per day until the native fermentation kicked off and then increased the punchdowns to two per day. After the mid-point of fermentation, we backed off to one or no punchdowns. Once the tank was dry, we drained it overnight and pressed the skins and intact clusters in the morning using a tank press. We aged the free drain and the press separately in 228 liter Burgundian barrels; none of them were new. We aged the wine in a cool room where they underwent native malo-lactic fermentation. We racked the barrels about a month before bottling and then back to clean barrels. We racked again a few days before bottling and the wine was limpid. This is our method of creating wines that are clean without being filtered. We bottled unfiltered and unfined.

Production: 238 Cases

Alc: 13.71%

TA: 6.74 g/L

pH: 3.52

VA: 0.66

g/L RS: 0.52 g/L

Total SO2: 56 ppm Dissolved CO2 at bottling: 860 ppm

Turbidity at bottling: 15 NTU


Glou Glou Red — Back to the top

“Our mission with the 2018 Glou Glou was to create the perfect warm-weather red: something fresh, chuggable, and light that tastes like sparkles and bright, summer fruit. Serve this slightly chilled, and you will be the hero of your next backyard barbecue—this is the most refreshing red wine ever, and the perfect antidote to long summer days and the heat of the grill. Glou Glou has intense berry notes that perfectly complement the char of a burger or perfectly cooked pizza crust, and enough acid to stand up to your favorite tomato sauce. Pizza, burgers, and wine are, after all, the Las Jaras holy trinity. (If more people subscribed to our religion, would there be world peace?) Most of the grapes in Glou Glou underwent carbonic maceration, the classic fermentation method of the Beaujolais, which means that fermentation happened inside of berries themselves, causing them to explode in happy, boozy ecstasy. That’s how you’ll feel when you drink this wine—it dances in your mouth.”

Vineyards:

Guido Venturi Carignan 4% Sustainable

Guido Venturi Charbono 8% Sustainable

Guido Venturi Zinfandel 23% Sustainable

Parenti Vineyard Carignan 1% Organic

Quail Run Vineyard Valdiguie 3% Organic

Riccetti Vineyard Carignan 33% Organic

Sargentini Ranch Carignan 13% FFF Sustainable

Zaina Ranch Carignan 15% FFF Sustainable

Varieties: 63% Carignan, 23% Zinfandel, 3% Valdiguie, 8% Charbono

Winemaking Details: Whereas last year’s Glou Glou was 100 percent Charbono, this year we used several different varieties from a handful of old vine vineyards in Mendocino and Solano Counties. We picked the grapes early (between 20 and 21 brix), to keep the alcohol level below 12 percent and some nice fresh acidity. We vinified each of the individual lots separately. Most underwent carbonic maceration, a gentle process that helps to keep earlyharvest wines from becoming too tannic. After 7 to 12 days, depending on the lot, we pressed the juice off its skins where they fermented natively in tank. Then, half of the lots were aged in barrels, half in tank, to keep the wine bright and fresh. We bottled without any fining or filtration, so store Glou Glou in a cool place. We do not de-gas our wines, so it may benefit from a quick decant to blow off CO2, especially when young.

Production: 1344 Cases 750mL, 320 Cases 1500mL

Alc: 11.8%

VA: 0.71 g/L T

A: 5.99

g/L RS: 0.6 g/L

pH: 3.49

Total SO2: 38 ppm Dissolved CO2 at bottling: 900 ppm

Turbidity at bottling: 46 NTU


Carbonic Pinot Noir — Back to the top

La Belle Promenade, Chehelem Mountain, Willamette Valley, Oregon

In early 2018, we scoured the Sonoma and Mendocino Coasts to find a cool organic pinot noir vineyard to make a beautiful wine with a Burgundian expression. Having not come up with anything too exciting in California, we called up our buddy Grant Coulter, who farms and makes beautiful wines in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. He had two vineyard sites for us to choose from, one in Chehelem Mountains AVA and one in Ribbon Ridge AVA. We chose the La Belle Promenade vineyard from Chehelem Mountains, mainly because the resulting wine would have a lower pH. This site is incredible; it is a south west facing slope planted to pinot noir, pinot meunier, chardonnay, and mondeuse noir. The vineyard is farmed organically without irrigation.

This Pinot Noir opens up with a nose of cocoa, raspberry, dark cherry and nutmeg with earthy hints of tar. The palate is dark rich and layered with licorice, bitter cherry, plum and earth. The palate is both dense and elegant with a finish that lasts into eternity. This wine is tasting incredible in the near term, but your patience will really be rewarded if you are able to hold this wine in a cool spot for a couple of years.

Vineyard: The grapes for this wine come from La Belle Promenade Vineyard, which is on a south-west facing slope on Chehelem Mountain. This is a new vineyard and it is organically farmed with high precision and high density. The vineyard is dryfarmed and sits at 820 feet above sea level. The soils are the volcanic Jory and Nekia series. This wine is made from two blocks: 1/3 of it clone 115 and the other 2/3 from the Orchestra Block, which is planted to a random mix of clones.

Winemaking: To prepare the grapes for their 600-plus-mile journey from Oregon to our winery in Sebastopol, California, we had to get our vented, quarter-ton macrobins up to the vineyard. Once the grapes were harvested, they began their journey back to Sonoma County on a semi-truck with a refer unit set to 40F. We were amazed by how clean the fruit was once it arrived. There was no rot, and not a single leaf or desiccated berry in the bins.

The grapes from the Orchestra Bock were destemmed and dumped into the tank. The grapes from the clone 115 block were destemmed with 20% of the bins to remain as whole clusters.  The wines fermented naturally at cool temperatures with very gentle cap movements. Total tank wine was 14 days and we drained at dryness, After we drained the tanks, we transferred the free-run wines to new and used large format barrels. The press wines were aged separately and added to our Glou Glou wine. The wine continued to age on its lees until one month before bottling, when it was racked clean and returned to barrel. Before bottling, we again racked the wine clean and we were able to bottle without fining or filtration.

Production: 200 cases

ABV: 13.47%

TA: 5.4 g/L

pH: 3.75

VA: 0.73 g/L

DCO2: 890ppm

Total SO2: 44ppm

RS: 0.71 g/L

Turbidity at bottling: 37 NTU

 


Chenin Blanc — Back to the top

Norgard Vineyard on the Talmage Bench

This wine is named after Joel’s wild 5-year-old daughter Cézanne. This is definitely a wine with a personality. It is vexing in its depth of minerality and gives you so much pleasure as you hang onto the savory note that shakes you to your core through the finish. We are so excited that the savory white wines that Eric and Joel have lusted over for years can now be part of the Las Jaras portfolio.

This chenin blanc opens up with a nose of Comice pear and wet stones. The palate builds through the attack to show layer upon layer of dried white peach, apricot, white cherry, along with toasted almond and clove. The wine has a very long, gorgeous finish filled with mineral, saline and acid touches that make you salivate for more. It is a very balanced wine where the things that stick out the most are textural sensations: roundness, mineral, and acid; and the aromas and flavors are like a treasure hunt.

Vineyard: The grapes for this wine come from the Norgard Vineyard, which was planted in 1980 and is set up with a quadrilateral cordon system that was popular in those days. The vineyard is conventionally farmed. The berries on the cluster are very small, which gives us intense flavors.

Winemaking: It seems that the most critical things to make a chenin blanc in the style that we are after is to avoid oxidation and oxidised aromas, have it complete fermentation, and have plenty of acid. Everybody says they pick the grapes at the perfect time, but to us that means picking as soon as they fruit has a hint of ripe flavor, which in this case was about 18.5 brix.  We also wanted to to keep the wine reduced enough so it does not create the “forward” aromas of wet wool or linalool. So we whole cluster pressed the grapes as soon as they got into the winery and put the wine directly into two concrete eggs and a new demi-muid for fermentation. The new wood helps add a roundness to the wine to support the mineral frame. We refrained from adding anything except a small amount of sulfur in the months near the bottling date. We did not fine or filter this wine.

This wine will continue to age very well for the next several years if kept at a consistent cool temperature. The cork we chose allows the wine to age without “breathing.”  This wine would be well served dishes like fish tacos, oysters, salads, and grilled foods. Dishes that have bright flavors and fresh textures are a perfect partner.

Production: 300 cases

ABV: 12.55%

TA: 5.57 g/L

pH: 3.40

VA: 0.45 g/L

DCO2: 1000ppm

Total SO2: 37 ppm

RS: 0.87 g/L 

Turbidity at bottling: 5 NTU


Super Bloom — Back to the top

Cuvée Zero Zero

Is it dark pink? Or, is it light red? This is the second vintage of Superbloom, our zero zero wine that defies categorization. You know that moment right after sunset, before the stars are out in full—what poets call the “violet hour”? That’s the moment to open this wine. Call it a nighttime rosé, if you’d like. Drink it with food and friends for a perfect summer apéro.

Our wild idea with this wine was to co-ferment red and white Rhône varieties from a single vineyard, then to keep it completely natural by adding nothing and taking nothing away in the cellar. Both the 2018 vintage and this new vintage contain about a third red and two thirds white grapes. We call this a “California Table Wine,” but don’t be fooled by the humble name. Superbloom is a complex, utterly unique wine that expresses the specialness of Love Ranch vineyard in the Sierra Foothills. The red grapes give this wine a spicy nose and plenty of texture, while the white grapes add beautiful watermelon and rhubarb notes, plus a clean, mineral finish.

Superbloom is named after the wildflowers that erupt in the desert after a wetter-than-normal rainy season. They’re a sign that winter is over and warmer, happier days are ahead. We know that spring has not yet sprung in a lot of the country—but in the meantime, you can sip on Superbloom and dream of warm California nights.

Varieties: Roussanne 33%, Mourvèdre, 19% Grenache Noir, 16% Grenache Blanc, 13% Marsanne, 12% Picpoul Blanc 7%

Vineyard: All 6 varieties in Superbloom come from Love Ranch vineyard in Madera County, near Coarsegold. This certified organic vineyard is situated near the southern gate of Yosemite on rolling hills at about 2,000 feet above sea level. The climate is very hot there—it can get up to 90ºF by 10 in the morning!—and the soils are free-draining granitic schist. This combination of factors means the grapes ripen quickly, and fruit from Love Ranch is often the first into the winery each year.

Winemaking: This is a carbonic wine that we made in three tanks which we treated each tank differently. The first was a warm carbonic for 7 days at 80F, the second was a warm 5 day carbonic, the last tank was an all white grape cold 7 day carbonic at 60F. After press, we fermented the juice from each lot separately in stainless steel. We combined the lots once they were dry. Primary and malo-lactic fermentation were native. There have been no additions to this wine.

Production: 929 Cases 750mL

Alc: 11.1%

TA: 4.9 g/L

pH: 3.63

VA: 0.5 g/L

RS: 1.3 g/L

Total SO2: 0 ppm

Dissolved CO2 at bottling: 1195 ppm

Turbidity at bottling: 75 NTU


Sweet Berry Red — Back to the top

We are so excited to share the 2018 Sweet Berry Wine with you! This was a long, cool vintage, which resulted in a nuanced, refined wine that will age wonderfully. It’s perfect for long, autumn evenings with friends—grab a warm blanket, start a fire, and watch as the flames illuminate the beautiful, deep ruby wine inside your glass. As the days grow shorter and colder, you’ll find even more occasions to pop open a bottle: holiday dinners, après-ski at the lodge, New Years Eve. This wine is loaded with spice and bright, berry fruit, making it wonderfully versatile with food. We hope it’s a wine you’ll keep coming back to for years to come – for your health!

Varieties: 54% Carignan, 28% Zinfandel , 12% Charbono, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Valdiguie Old Vines, Mendocino County

Vineyards: The grapes for this blend are grown on old vines and sourced from vineyards in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. Most of the Carignan, Zinfandel and Charbono grapes come from Gary Venturi’s vineyard in Calpella, where they are dry farmed using sustainable farming techniques and grown in Yokayo sandy loam soils. Nine percent of the Carignan comes from the organic Riccetti vineyard in Redwood Valley. We also source some fruit from Green Valley in Solano County: Valdiguie from Quail Run vineyard and a bit of Carignan from Parenti Vineyard, both organically grown. The Cabernet grapes are sustainably farmed on Sonoma Mountain at Berger’s Oak Shade Ranch in Goulding on volcanic gravelly loam soils.

Winemaking: All of our fruit for this blend was hand-picked and each one of the varieties goes through its own separate, slightly different winemaking process in order to bring out the desired expression of the fruit. We further break the Carignan and Zinfandel into several different fermentation methods. Our Carignan, Zinfandel, and Cabernet were hand-sorted at the crusher. There was no sulfur added, no cold soaks and only native fermentation in open-top fermenters. Punch downs happened frequently in the beginning and decreased over time. Some of the Carignan lots were 20% and others were 50% whole cluster, while other lots were destemmed entirely. We typically drained and pressed just before dryness and aged in neutral French oak – a combination of 600L demi muids, 500L Puncheons and 228L Burgundy barrels. The Cabernet and Zinfandel were each 100% destemmed, drained and pressed at dryness. The Cabernet was aged in a combination of new and used French 225L Bordeaux barrels. The Zinfandel was aged in neutral French oak 600L demi muids. Carbonic Maceration was used for the Charbono. Whole clusters were placed in open-tanks with dry ice. The temperature was set at 65°F and 20 gallons of fermenting rosé was added to generate CO2. The tank was sealed and untouched for 10 days. On pressing day, we dug out the tank and added the whole clusters to a horizontal bladder press and gently crushed the grapes to avoid picking up too much structure from the skins. The juice was then fermented in a stainless steel tank and transferred at dryness to age in neutral French 228L Burgundy barrels. We racked and blended the wine into 4 blocks in February following harvest. We did this to allow the more structured lots mate with the leaner lots. This really allowed us to achieve more cohesion in the blend. One month before bottling we racked and blended all of the lots then returned the wine to barrels until one week before bottling when the wine was racked clean to tank. We bottled without fining or filtration.

Production: 3860 cases

ABV: 12.4%

TA: 5.96 g/L

pH: 3.54

VA: 0.71 g/L

DCO2: 650ppm

Total SO2: 45ppm

RS: 0.47 g/L

Turbidity at bottling: 18 NTU


Rosato — Back to the top

We are obsessed with all things Italian: pasta, disco, cars, and wine. We jumped at the opportunity to work with two iconic organically grown Italian varieties, Sangiovese and Montepulciano. Both Sangiovese and Montepulciano are big grapes and we are all about restraint and nuance. This is why we decided to vinify them as a rosato (the Italian term for rosé). Our 2019 Rosato is one of the most special – and surprising wines we’ve made to date. It is a rich, softly textured wine that drinks more like fine white wine than your typical pale pink, feather-light rosé. This wine has a deep strawberry color and an appealing heft – perfect for that moment when you transition from the pool to the dinner table for a candlelit, al fresco meal. The 2019 Rosato has a delicate nose and subtle notes of wet stones, brioche, tangerine, and yellow nectarine. The palate shows red plum, yellow nectarine, quince, and silky round tones, and has a long finish that gives a slight pucker and leaves you thirsty for another sip. This wine is going to be lovely to drink anytime of year. As they say in our favorite country in the world: Buon vino fa buon sangue! Good wine makes good cheer!

Varieties: Sangiovese and Montepulciano Blend

Vineyards:

Venturi Vineyards Sangiovese: 40% certified organic

Fox Hill Sangiovese: 30% organic

Fox Hill Montepulciano: 30% organic

Larry Venturi’s vineyard is in Calpella, north of Ukiah, and these vines are just to the east of HWY 101. Fox Hill vineyard is on the east side of the Ukiah Valley on the hills above River Road.

Winemaking: This is our first time working with Sangiovese and Montepulciano. Both varieties are quite particular. Sangiovese sets a very heavy crop that is variable. This is difficult for fine winemaking – the window for ripeness is narrow, and underripe fruit adds a hardness to the wine whereas overripe fruit contributes too much richness and weight. We were able to pick at the perfect moment of ripeness, and the resulting wine is suave without being heavy.

Each of the vineyard blocks were harvested and vinified separately. When we received the fruit, we treaded each of the bins and they were added to the press shortly thereafter. After settling overnight at ambient temperature, each lot was racked with light lees to a stainless steel tank. Each lot was kept in the tank until native fermentation started. A small 10ppm dose of sulfur was added and the tanks were racked to their fermentation and aging vessels, which were a mixture of concrete eggs and large format barrels (500-600L). The wines were topped up at the end of fermentation and aged until winter. The wines underwent native malolactic fermentation. In December, we racked all of the wines dirty to blend and then back to their vessels. In February, we clean racked and returned to all vessels. As is usually the case, the concrete egg still had lots of suspended lees, so in March we swapped the wines in the egg to oak and vice versa. By April when we racked and adjusted sulfur for bottling we ended up with an incredibly clear wine. There was no need for fining or filtration. The limpidity of this wine will allow it to age well.

Production: 456 Cases 750mL

Alc: 13.3%

TA: 6.47 g/L

pH: 3.19

VA: 0.54 g/L

RS: 0.9 g/L

Total SO2: 39 ppm

Dissolved CO2 at bottling: 1000 ppm

Turbidity at bottling: 5 NTU