2019 Intent Wines, Pinot Gris, Filigreen Farm, Anderson Valley.
The 2019 Intent Pinot Gris is slightly cloudy with a golden straw hue in the glass and bursts to life in the glass with Alsatian intensity and class showing beautiful aromatics and a crisply dry palate that brings green apple, quince and kumquat fruits to the fore along with mineral tones, clove and ginger spices, orange blossoms and a hint of garden herbs. Air brings out a touch of apricot, brown butter, wet stone and zesty lemon marmalade as well as peachy or melon flesh viscosity. This quality or generous feel, while still being brisk and lively, is no mean feat with this grape and in a vintage as plush as 2019 was, impressive that. This vines for this lovely Pinot Gris come from the biodynamic gardens and vineyards at Filigreen Farm, in the Anderson Valley, that are devoted to the valley’s specialty, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapes. Winemaker Patrick Callagy notes, that this unique estate is Demeter certified biodynamic, no mean feat in itself and this wine shows the quality and life from these carefully farmed vines that are set on marine sedimentary soils can do. The Intent collection, which just added a Sangiovese and a Rosé is a new and exciting project that should be on your radar, and after tasting their latest releases I highly recommend not waiting around, these are well worth checking out, especially the Golden Fleece Pinot Noir and this Pinot Gris.
It was great to meet up with Patrick Callagy, in person recently, a California Culinary Academy trained chef and turned winemaker, who has launched his personal project Intent Wines with a solid set of initial offerings including his tasty Pinot Gris, as well as Syrah and a set of beautiful Pinot Noirs. As I noted in my last review of Intent Wines, Patrick met winemaker Eric Sussman in 2002, post graduation, when Sussman started his now famous Radio Coteau winery, helping out with that harvest and after a few years of extremely long hours, Callagy’s curiosity/persistence paid off when he became Radio Coteau’s first employee. After gaining loads of wine growing and winemaking experience Patrick founded Intent Wines with the 2017 vintage, bravely starting his own label in 2020, considering the difficulty of getting stuff done in the middle of the COVID pandemic, which Callagy says was very challenging but he survived and we are now rewarded with his wines. The focus here is to source from organically grown, or as Patrick explains, correctly farmed sites, which is where his Intent name comes from. The Intent 2019 Pinot Gris was, as Callagy reveals, initially fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tank to preserve freshness and natural acidity then it was barreled down into neutral (well used) French oak to add complexity and a bit of texture, all of which was successful and makes it a very compelling example.
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive