MEET WINEMAKER HANK BECKMEYER OF LA CLARINE FARM!
Hank and Caroline Beckmeyer are the minimalist winemakers/farmers/proprietors of La Clarine Farm, located at 2600 feet in California’s Sierra Nevada Foothills. On their 10 acres, they grow grapes, raise goats and share their space with numerous dogs, cats, bees, chickens, birds, gophers, flowers and herbs. Their winemaking is based on Hank's insistence on questioning the status quo of the wine world: "Why does everyone I knew (at the time) add an isolated strain of yeast to their musts? What would happen if I didn't, and relied solely on the indigenous (or ambient) yeasts? Why was everyone automatically adding SO2 at the crusher, and then at every racking? Why do you need to add an enzyme to quicken the extraction rate of the must?" His answers to these questions are the wines of La Clarine Farm, which see no added yeasts, no SO2 at the crusher, no destemming, no SO2 addition at any point in the process unless needed, no new oak, and no enzymes to speed up color and flavor extraction.
La Clarine Farm Albariño Sierra Foothills 2016 - ORGANICALLY GROWN + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: SIERRA FOOTHILLS / Varietal(s): ALBARINO --- For this singular albariño, the grapes are farmed with minimal inputs by Matthew Rorick's (of Forlorn Hope) crew in Murphys, CA. Green-gold color in the glass, the wine bursts with gooseberry and peach. Medium-bodied with stone fruits, great acidity, and mineral textures on the palate. As Hank says, "They can't quite do this in Spain." Fabulous with warm Caesar salad with grilled shrimp.
La Clarine Farm Rosé "Alors!" Sierra Foothills 2016 - ORGANICALLY GROWN + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: SIERRA FOOTHILLS / Varietal(s): SYRAH+MOURVÈDRE+COUNOISE --- This delectable rosé is direct-pressed from syrah, mouvèdre, and counoise, and fermented half in barrel and half in tank. Organically farmed, vegan friendly, unfined and unfiltered, very low added sulfites, no added yeasts, enzymes, or cultures... all the things we know and love about La Clarine Farm! The separate batches were combined and bottled in spring of 2017, then left to settle and develop until release this year. The result is intensely delicious! Sockeye salmon pink in color, it explodes with aromas of watermelon, strawberry, black cherry, and a touch of anise. The palate is juicy and elegant with watermelon, blood orange, and pink grapefruit flavors accented with crushed herbs. A round texture and touch of briny salinity from spontaneous malolactic fermentation is lifted by a core of mouthwatering acidity, making this a versatile choice for a variety of foods! Serve chilled, but not too cold (55-57°F is ideal), with salmon tacos!
La Clarine Farm Syrah "El Dorado" NV - ORGANICALLY GROWN + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: EL DORADO COUNTY/ Varietal(s): SYRAH --- This wine is an exploration of El Dorado County in a bottle–literally! Over the past couple years, La Clarine has produced an assortment of various syrah from 2015 and 2016. This compilation of those wines and vineyards is meant to give a tasty look into the terroir of El Dorado County. A combination of vintages, this embodies syrah from both main soil types - volcanic and granite. Whole cluster fermented and aged in a variety of vessels, this is bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal added sulfur (as always). Aromas of black cherry, smoke, meat, and vanilla open up into bold savory, smoky fruit in the mouth. Firm tannins meld with notes of black olive and tar in a finish of pleasing acidity and length. Let those flavors and textures wander across your palate for a bit and enjoy a taste of El Dorado mountain-grown syrah! Give it a little time and air before quaffing, then down this with bold summer flavors, like smoky grilled eggplant or bacon-topped bison burgers!
La Clarine Farm Tempranillo Rorick Vineyard Sierra Foothills 2015 - ORGANICALLY GROWN + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: EL DORADO COUNTY/ Varietal(s): TEMPRANILLO --- The grapes for this deep, dark, delicious wine come from Matthew Rorick's vineyard near Murphys, CA. The La Clarine grapes grow in the lower, slightly "cooler" block, in a unique mix of schist and limestone soils. Once at La Clarine, they were given the standard treatment: no sulfites, foot crushed, and whole cluster fermented with native yeast in open top fermenters, bottled unfined and unfiltered. 100% tempranillo, this shows black cherry, apple skin, crushed thyme, and a pinch of baking cocoa on the nose. In the mouth it is medium bodied with a compelling balance between fruit and savory notes. Lively acidity and structured tannins mingle with dashes of black pepper, tea, and earth. This has the potential to age beautifully for years, but is also great now. Give it some air and enjoy with mushroom risotto!