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Wines That Express the Soils and Intense Wind of Western Carneros 

Sonoma, CA (June 6, 2017) — Freixenet USA announces a national release of a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from its new luxury brand WindVane – an homage to the wind that contributes to the unique character of the wines of Western Carneros.  This month, the 2015 WindVane Carneros Pinot Noir (SRP: $45) and 2015 Chardonnay (SRP $40) will join the prestigious 2014 WindVane Reserve Pinot Noir (SRP $80) introduced last year.  Sourced from the windiest individual vineyard blocks in the westernmost part of 335-acres of estate vineyards, in Carneros, WindVane is a tribute to, and an expression of the essence of the region.  The wind that give WindVane its name keeps temperatures cool, slowing ripening and preserving an ideal acid balance, and encourages the development of thick skins, imparting tremendous depth to the wine. The thin topsoil of these windy plots result in naturally low yields and intense concentration.

“I’ve been working in these vineyards for twenty years and the wind is in my bones” says Winemaker Steven Urberg (who is also winemaker for Freixenet USA’s Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards). “The ocean wind that blows in through the Petaluma Gap is what makes Carneros such great terroir for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. When we talk about terroir, people usually think of soil but the wind here is just as important to the character of the wines and I wanted to celebrate that.”

Both the WindVane Carneros Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are harvested at night to preserve freshness. Production is small with only 1,300 cases of Pinot Noir and 1,800 cases of Chardonnay produced.  The Chardonnay is barrel fermented (20% new oak) and a portion undergoes malolactic fermentation. The wine is left on its lees for nine months prior to bottling, with monthly topping-up and battonage (stirring of the lees). Aromas include pineapple, stone fruit and brioche. The fruit intensifies in the mouth and there is a clean minerality on the finish.  Urberg recommends pairing the 2015 WindVane Carneros Chardonnay with adobo-rubbed chicken, citrus grilled pork and with semi-hard cheeses.

After gentle crushing, the 2015 WindVane Carneros Pinot Noir undergoes two days of cold soaking to extract color and flavor from the skins, followed by ten days of fermentation in tank, with regular pumping over and punching down. Free run juice (no pressed juice) is then transferred to barrels to complete fermentation and the wine rests for nine months in French oak barrels (46% new). Aromas suggest blackberry and black cherry, with hints of spice and toasty oak. The mouth feel is ample and supple, with sufficient acidity to balance the texture and provide a long finish. The dark fruit and herbal aromas pair well with dishes with similar flavors (Urberg recommends grilled pork with blueberry-sage sauce), as well as with the smoky flavor of chipotle preparations and with a range of cheeses, from Appenzeller to Point Reyes Bay Blue.

For more information about WindVane visit www.windvanewines.com .

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