Las Jaras is a joint project between Eric Wareheim (of Master of None and the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great 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!”
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
TA: 6.27 g/L
Total SO2: 18 ppm
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
TA 6.1 g/L
Total SO2: 40ppm
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
TA: 6.74 g/L
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.”
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
VA: 0.71 g/L T
g/L RS: 0.6 g/L
Total SO2: 38 ppm Dissolved CO2 at bottling: 900 ppm
Turbidity at bottling: 46 NTU
Carbonic Pinot Noir — Back to the top
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
TA: 5.4 g/L
VA: 0.73 g/L
Total SO2: 44ppm
RS: 0.71 g/L
Turbidity at bottling: 37 NTU
Chenin Blanc — Back to the top
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
TA: 5.57 g/L
VA: 0.45 g/L
Total SO2: 37 ppm
RS: 0.87 g/L
Turbidity at bottling: 5 NTU