LES FILLES DES FÊTE: EXTENDED LAYOVER
North Forth Pinot Noir. No additives save for a dose of sugar at bottling for carbonation.
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Whole cluster and stem
- 50% Steel Fermented 50% Barrel Fermented
- 11.5% Alc. by Vol.
INTO THE BOTTLE
There's a charm to bubbles and chilled reds that just capture the energy of Spring. From the playful effervescence to the bright acidity and bursting fruit flavors, these bottles pair perfectly with the lengthening of the days and the flowers coming into bloom. With each sip, you can't help but feel refreshed and invigorated, as if the very spirit of the season is coursing through your veins.
Just a few summers ago, the cool kids wine shops and spirit stores started stocking Lambrusco, the sparkling reds in particular, hailing from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. These wines are made from the Lambrusco grape variety, which is known for its high acidity and bright fruit flavors. I was hooked. I was buying them by the case, opening them on the beach, taking them to dinner parties, adding them to my evening spritz. I couldn't get enough.
Traditionally, Lambrusco was a very popular wine in Italy, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. However, its popularity waned in the following years as people began to associate it with low-quality, overly sweet wines.
And then came the hip world of natural wine, where 'lightly effervescent' and 'chillable red' is part of the basic vernacular. It's no surprise that when importers turned up with new releases of dry, sparkling red Lambrusco offerings made with high quality fruit, these bottles found instant fanfare.
Pinot Noir is a delicate, thinned skinned grape. Winemakers on the North Fork are tethered to their phones in the growing season, constantly refreshing the weather app, playing the ultimate game of grape growing chicken. You'll hear reference to Pinot Noir's propensity to 'fall apart' if left hanging too long in the vineyard. These concerns come from the fact that Pinot Noir grapes are delicate and prone to damage, making them more susceptible to disease, damage from insects and birds, and damage from weather conditions such as rain, wind, and hail. When the grapes are damaged, they can start to break down before they are harvested, which can result in flavors that are overly ripe, oxidized, or even spoiled.
The North Fork tends to be wet and hot in the summers - creating lots of fungal pressure - and home to some ravenous birds. Our storms bring heavy winds and rainfall. It's for myriad reasons the wine growers of the North Fork have come to make the light and refreshing bottles of still rosé from their Pinot Noir they've become known for. Macari kicked off a craze when they started letting their Pinot Noir rosé finish fermenting in the bottle creating a lot of carbonation -- a Pet Nat wine called Horses which we've always carried at The Lin Beach House. To make rosé, you're picking the Pinot early and letting the juice macerate on the skins for a matter of hours before drawing off the juice. Just a hint of color and little if any tannin.
Picking Pinot Noir early, before it's left too long in the elements, can offer a whole different side of the fruit -- high acidity, zippy, tart fruit - think more tart cherry and pomegranate less strawberry. Maybe you pick up on some herbal and earthy mushroomy qualities there in the background, lending the fruit some dimension. The more I reached for Lambrusco that summer, the more the structure of Extended Layover began to take shape.
An early pick Pinot Noir, macerated on the skins for a few days. Half steel fermented, half barrel fermented. Racked and dosed with a little sugar at bottling. No sulfur, no yeast, just the wine and a dash of sugar to ferment, creating the carbonation. Clocking in at 11.5% ABV. We made and released a few cases last year but it went so fast, we weren't able to release it on the drop shop! So without further adieu,
Sparkling Pinot Noir
Zero / Zero save for a dash of sugar for carbonation at bottling
Half steel fermented, Half oak
Leslie + The Matchbook Team