We will officially release our new Spring wines at Cuvée Wine Cellars on April 6, 1-4pm. Cuvée Wine Cellars is located at: 1001 Washington St. San Carlos, CA.
Come by to taste and get yours! These are the newest additions to the Tessier portfolio: 2012 Viognier and 2012 Rosé of Grenache. Tasting notes and quantities produced are listed below:
Pale straw in the glass. A bouquet of flowers blooms on the nose, showcasing jasmine, honeysuckle, and apple blossom, branching off into lime zest. On the palate, apricot, lychee, and wet stone flourish, bordered by peach and a touch of grapefruit. Light yet with firm acidity, this is an ideal match for lemon-kissed fish or chicken salad. Only 23 cases produced
Deep pink hue. Aromas of dried strawberries and raspberry delight the senses, energized by a burst of lemon. Strawberry and raspberry are mirrored in the mouth, and the flavors also reflect a bit of cherry and sprig of fresh basil. With its pure expression of fruit, this is the perfect wine to herald spring into summer. It is easy to drink on its own or can be paired with a range of foods, from a spinach, strawberry and goat cheese salad to a tried-and-true BLT. Only 16 cases produced
Spring is in the air! The rain cooperated for all our cellar work that needed to get done this week. We were busy pre-filtering the wines prior to bottling on Wednesday — special shout out to Matt Smith for doing this for us. Then, on Thursday, we hand bottled 26 cases of Russian River Valley Viognier along with 13 cases of El Dorado Rosé of Grenache. Both of these are a first for Tessier. Kristie feels very proud of her new white and rosé wines. We hope that you will enjoy them too! Special thanks to Cuvée Wine Cellars, who let us use their equipment and labor to get the work done. Also, special thanks to Melanie Hartman for lending a hand on labeling these new wines. Tessier plans to release these wines in early April.
January 20, 2013
14.8% alc., 96 cases, $35. Clones 115 and Pommard 4. Aged in 25% new French oak. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot Noir offering aromas and flavors of fresh Bing cherries, baking spices, clove and a hint of cola and vanilla. Relatively light in weight, appealingly elegant with mild tannins, offering a silky mouth feel, and showing off some length on the finish. I really like this for its restraint and approachability. I would never guess this wine has moderately high alcohol. Very good (+).
14.8% alc., 45 cases, $42. Clone 115. Aged in 50% new oak. Decanted. · Light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Similar to the regular bottling but displaying more body and tannin and showing more potential for mid-term aging. Aromas and flavors of dark Bing cherries, baking spices and dark red rose petals with a hint of oak. Very polished and seamless, taking on more character and interest over time in the glass, but still holding back enough to suggest that the wine has a ways to go before it fully reveals itself. My only nit would be a subtle sense of heat on the finish, but I like this wine a lot.
* What does the Pinot Geek signify in the tasting notes?
Pinot Geek: Signifies an exceptional wine of great breeding and a highly recommended purchase.
PinotFileVol9,issue17 – 2012 California Value Priced Pinot Noirs Honorable Mention- 2010 Tessier RRV Pinot Noir and Tessier Winery was listed as a small-scale, independent producer that deserves attention. Thanks, Prince of Pinot!
It was a great time! Thanks to all of the folks that came out on such a lovely afternoon. The feedback on the new 2011 wines were fantastic. Special thanks to Melanie Hartman at American Oak for hosting and East End Pizza for perfectly pairing pizzas with the wines: 2011 Tessier Grenache: house made rosemary rubbed crostini with parsnip smear, 2011 Tessier Saralee Pinot Noir: morrocan lamb sausage, olive oil, fresh mozarella, and crescenza cheese and 2011 Tessier Reserve Pinot Noir: smoke stack with or without damn fine bacon.
It’s that time of year again… new wine in the barrels and new wine in the bottle! All the grapes are in, some we even had to pick ourselves. But all the long drives, sticky fingers and bee stings were worth it, as the quality is truly outstanding. The line-up from 2012 will be our most diverse yet, as we now have the following in oak and tanks: a Viognier, Rosé of Grenache, Russian River Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir, and Grenache from El Dorado.
As for new wines, we bottled the 2011’s about six weeks ago, and they are almost ready to release. And that means a party!
Don’t miss the Tessier Release Party on Sunday, November 11th ( 1-4 pm) at American Oak in Alameda. We will unveil two Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs and our brand-new Grenache. Each will be paired with a specialty pizza pie made by East End Pizza, an Alameda favorite. All for just $10. So come celebrate the start of the holiday season with this trifecta of local businesses!
Don’t forget about our Research Club, if you haven’t joined yet. It’s the best way to insure you get an allotment of our low-production wines, and the last two vintages sold out quickly. While we did hold a small amount back for the library, club members will have the first crack at those. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. We look forward to seeing you on the 11th!
Cheers, The Tessier team
In contrast to the past two years, this harvest has been marked by great quality and an abundance of fruit. Spring temperatures held constant and the summer welcomed warm weather that stretched into September and October. Even better, there were no heat spikes or last-minute scrambling due to rain. In fact, most Russian River Valley growers predicted harvest dates would come one or two weeks earlier than it did.
Our first harvest from Russian River Saralee’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, clone 115 was ready on September 15th. As Cuvée Wine Cellars and Coterie Cellars in San Jose added to the order, Saralee had the fruit trucked down to us, and it looked and tasted great! September 20th brought in both clone 4 Pinot Noir and Viognier, also from Saralee’s. We did a whole cluster press on the Viognier right away and then started the fermentation. The juice offered flavors of honeysuckle and apricots… and promises to be a great addition to the Tessier portfolio! Stay tuned for an early release of our very first white wine.
With no rest for the weary, an email from Ron Mansfield, the grower of Fenaughty Vineyard in Placerville, informed me that the Grenache was ready on September 21st. This vineyard was harvested last year on October 25, over one month later, but El Dorado had very hot weather this past summer. Plus, the grapes were ready on International Grenache day, so I took that as a good sign, even though it was already a hectic week.
Therefore, I rented a flat bed truck to make the trek for the two tons of fruit. Luckily, our trusty intern, Melanie Hartman, was up for the adventure. We hit the road at 3:30 am and lead footed it up to the vineyard to get there before sunrise, though we did take a moment to enjoy the beautiful sight of the sun coming up in the vineyard. Ron had the pickers assigned to the same block as last year, but this time we got twice as much fruit. Once loaded, we strapped the bins on the truck to make our way back to the South Bay. Driving through Sacramento, we caught a glimpse of the Endeavuor space shuttle, which was much more fun than the traffic! As for our cargo, the fruit quality was stellar. A special surprise for Tessier fans is that I decided to make use of the Grenache saignée (first run juice) and produce a rosé. This is yet another Tessier first and should be available in early spring.
For our final crush, I got word that the Santa Cruz Mountain fruit from Veranda Vineyard was ready after a three-day heat spell hit the Bay Area. Melanie and I borrowed the truck from Cuvée and headed down to pick up the ton of fruit. When we arrived at 10am, however, grower Frank Remde informed us that there was a snag in plans. Due to difficulties in finding pickers, most of the grapes were still on the vines. So Melanie and I grabbed some clippers and hit the rows. My first time to pick grapes, I decided it would be a learning experience. Two hours and two bee stings later, we had the truck loaded up to head back to the winery for processing. As this vineyard consists of clone 4 and 115 clones of Pinot Noir, it will be interesting to compare this wine with the RRV Pinot.
I am thrilled that all the grapes are in and now I can focus on getting them into barrels. Special thanks to Tessier’s intern, Melanie Hartman, whose energy and sense of adventure were very much appreciated!
Tessier Winery Pinot Noir Carneros Las Brisas Vineyard 2010
Medium-deep ruby color; deep, complex black cherry and
earthy aromas; deep, earthy dark cherry flavors with lavender
and herbal notes; some tannin and oak; good structure and
balance; long finish. Deep, flavorful Pinot that needs time in
the glass to really open up.
51 cases made
Tessier Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2010
Medium-deep ruby color; rich, spicy cherry aromas; subtle
cherry flavors with spice and cola notes; silky texture; good
structure and balance; long finish. Subtle, spicy Pinot with a
great range of pairing possibilities.
122 cases made
Tessier Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Saralee’s Vineyard 2010
Medium-deep ruby color; bright, rich, cherry and berry aromas
with some floral notes; rich, red cherry flavors with earthy,
toasty oak notes; good structure and balance; long finish. Rich,
ripe Pinot with some really pretty flavors.
21 cases made
Last Saturday, August 4th, it was a real pleasure for Tessier Winery to be featured at Midland’s new, premier wine bar, Whine. Not only was it a chance to return to my Michigan roots, but it was a fun evening, as well. Though only open for about five months, Whine is definitely headed for success with its open, comfortable atmosphere, an expansive wine list, top-notch glassware, and a knowledgeable, friendly staff. I especially loved the bar made out of old barrel staves, demonstrating different levels of toast and stains that were various shades of burgundy.
With the details of the event already organized by my distributor from Great Lakes Wine and Spirits, we went in early to meet with Joseph, the manager, and that evening’s staff. As I shared some of Tessier’s brief, but colorful, history, we opened up the two featured Tessier wines and tasted through them together. They were the 2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, which is sold out in California but still available in Michigan, and the 2010 Las Brisas Vineyard Pinot, which will soon be offered by the glass at Whine.
During the three-hour event, I had the chance to share tales of grape runs, the chaos of harvest, and the thrill of bottling the first wine of the year with local family members, friends from high school, and new acquaintances that we met that evening. It was a warm show of support for Tessier and Whine, and the room was filled with laughter and clinking glasses. After enjoying the two tastes, attendees could opt for a glass or bottle of Tessier Pinot Noir, and many stuck around to partake in the wine-friendly tapas menu. I made it a point to try the spicy tuna tacos and the bone marrow bruschetta, and they were heavenly.
Last week I gathered a couple friends to join me on a wine adventure. Destination? The Santa Cruz Mountains. Pinot Noir from this region has been a favorite of mine for some time, and I decided to see if I could make some of my own. Luckily, I obtained a lead from Nathan Kandler, who is Associate Winemaker at Thomas Fogarty Winery. With me in my pursuit were long-time college friend, Kim, and Melanie, owner of American Oak in Alameda.
Traffic was surprisingly mellow as we headed southwest towards the Veranda Vineyard in Watsonville, the southern-most portion of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. At an elevation of 500 feet, it is located along the San Andreas Fault in Corralito. Though Kim was a little nervous as we headed up the windy dirt roads to the vineyard, once we arrived, we were all impressed with the picturesque view. Nestled between two canyons, the vineyard is planted to soil composed of clay loam and sandstone. The entire property spans 80 acres and features a smattering of mighty oak and redwood trees.
The grower, Frank Remde, is a native Californian who is 80 years young. Very down to earth, Frank apologized for not having any wine to serve us, as he alighted from his truck. Though we certainly appreciated the ice-cold Martinelli apple juice he did have on hand for us.
Frank’s wine story began at UC Davis where he was studying agriculture and then took a viticulture class and became entranced. The majority of his career was focused in real estate and insurance, and it wasn’t until later in life that he began pursuing his passion for growing Pinot noir. In 1996, he returned to his early interest when he and his wife planted Pinot Noir on this beautiful site. Veranda Vineyard produces high-quality fruit, which it sells to Burrell School, Roudon-Smith, and Cooper-Garrod, among others.
Tessier Winery is looking forward to the harvest of 2012 and to joining the list of wineries that feature Frank’s grapes.
For the first course, we were treated to a chilled soup of potato, buttermilk and chive—a refreshing concoction that somehow managed to be light while simultaneously hearty. To accompany it, we sipped the 2010 Cuvée Cellars Pinot Noir Rosé. In addition to making her own wine on the Tessier label, Kristie also consults for a few other Bay Area wineries, including Cuvée Cellars. Owner and winemaker, Paul Rogerville, was also in attendance that evening with his wife Linda and a couple of friends. The pale pink wine showcased strawberry, lemon zest and fragrant floral notes with its stream of acidity a nice partner for the tanginess of the soup. Perfect for a warm day, spoons quickly scraped our bowls clean as we drained our glasses.
Next up was the 2010 Tessier Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Spoiler alert: it’s sold out. Having really opened up since the last time I tasted it, the cranberry, cherry, and baking spice melded beautifully with one another. As did the ingredients on our plate: warm heirloom tomatoes that tasted like summer and soft burrata, streaked with olive paste and drizzled with olive oil that spoke softly of citrus. The bites of salad that included a salty crumble of bacon paired best with the wine, its smokiness complementing the light oak in the Pinot, though the tomatoes’ fruitiness did hold up to that present in the glass.
Our third glass held the 2009 Tessier Trenton Station Pinot Noir, all the better with a couple years of aging. With black cherry and raspberry, peppercorns, and a hint of meatiness, it was hard to refrain from drinking it all before the albacore tuna salad arrived. Luckily, I exhibited self-control, as the peppery arugula was a nice match for the pepper in the wine, resulting in a whisper of licorice. But it was the soft-boiled egg with its sprinkle of salt that stole the show! (I must take a minute to apologize for pointing that out to our friends at the next tables, as the kitchen had run out of those eggs by the time they were served.)
The next-to-last course was my favorite of the evening. The 2010 Tessier Las Brisas Pinot Noir was a parade of strawberry, plum, and rhubarb with earthy undertones and more masculine tannins, a prime partner for the tender flank streak and perfectly grilled radicchio. Along with black lentil salsa and roasted red pepper, the flavors on the plate were precisely balanced with each other and with the wine.
To top off the delightful procession, we finished with a Torley “Fortuna’ Muscat, as Tessier does not make a dessert wine, to match up with the toasts dredged in butter and sugar, then topped with sheep’s milk ricotta, strawberry, blueberry, and mint. The wine was lightly fizzed with pear, peach, and apple and the perfect amount of sweetness to match the light dessert. Overall, another great triumph for Tessier. Let’s raise a ‘Toast’ that the next winemaker dinner won’t be too far off!
Tuesday, July 24
$55/person (plus tax and gratuity).
Chilled potato and buttermilk soup with chives
Cuvée 2011 Pinot Rose, Sonoma Coast
Warm heirloom tomatoes with olivada, pancetta, and fresh goat cheese
Tessier 2010 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Albacore confit salad with arugula, cucumber, basil, a soft boiled egg, and lime vinaigrette
Tessier 2009 Trenton Station Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Flat iron steak with roasted red pepper, radicchio, and black lentil salsa
Tessier 2010 Las Brisas Pinot Noir, Carneros
Strawberry TOASTS with mascarpone cream and mint
Torley Muscat NV, Hungary