2015 Foursight Wines, Pinot Noir “Zero New Oak” Charles Vineyard, Anderson Valley.
One of the best deals around and one of most pure Pinots from the Anderson Valley is Kristy Charles’ Foursight Wines Zero New Oak bottling, it was designed to be a showcase of the estate fruit, and it impresses for it’s class, brightness and exciting layers, Charles used all native yeasts, 20% whole cluster and only used barrels here with wild yeast in both primary and in secondary fermentation (malos) from a mix of clones including Pommard, 777, 115 and 114. The Charles Vineyard has been the source to many a fine Pinot, especially well known in the vineyard designate Papapietro-Perry versions, which is one of the reasons I found out about this small winery headed by Kristy Charles and Joe Webb, along with Kristy’s parents William and Nancy in Anderson Valley, where Kristy also serves as head of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association with great distinction and respect of her peers. For Foursight’s Zero New Oak Pinot, they used open top fermentors and did hand punch downs and employed a very gentile Champagne style press for gentile handing of their grapes before going into second year and well seasoned barriques before bottling unfined and unfiltered, noting the wines are all vegan safe. The Charles family purchased the land back in 1950, and the estate vineyard was planted to vines back in 2001, which is set on ancient river bed with rocky well drained soils just southeast of the tiny hamlet of Boonville in the heart of the Anderson Valley, a top spot for cool climate varieties and a place that is making some of California’s greatest wines these days. With just about 10 acres of Pinot Noir planted Charles Vineyard is a small production vineyard and the wines from here are pretty limited, especially this bottling. Webb was the assistant winemaker at the historic Joseph Swan Vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Kristy did the UC Davis extension program and as a team they are looking for terroir expression, with their estate vines as well as natural and authentic or soulful wines much in the same way as their neighbors and friends in region are doing, with likes of Anthill Farms, Baxter, Philips Hill, Halcon and Drew all being great peers and inspiration, they are part of the new California generation that have respect for old school traditions, nature and have a real pride of place. Pretty red fruits dance on the medium full palate and it takes a good long while for everything to wake up here in this 2015 vintage, but once full going this Pinot starts to add layers and deepens greatly with black cherry, rose petals, minty herbs, plum and sweet strawberries along with a hint of chalk dust, cedar and tea spices. Wonderful with food, this cuvee is more subtle than prior vintages, and Foursight has lightened their touch here using much less stems by reducing the percentage of whole bunch(s) in 2015 going for delicacy, feminine grace and elegance, which has successfully presented itself in this wine in particular, and I can see even more potential to come with further aging, you can drink now with no penalty, but I am looking forward to seeing what happens in another 5 to 7 years, I am certain of future rewards. This is a wine that comes alive with food, it will be great on your holiday table or when you have a long evening meal, great with duck breast, and or wild mushroom dishes.
($39 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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