LES LUNES / POPULIS
I met Shaunt and Diego in November 2016 at the Raw Wine Fair in Brooklyn. After days of tasting and drinking and ingesting, my palate was getting a little exhausted. You can only taste so many wines with overt volatile acidity before you spiral into a natural wine depression, and crave mass produced Californian Chardonnay. Then I tasted the wines from Les Lunes and felt re-inspired and refreshed.
In California, there is a massive divide between grape growers and winemakers. Most winemakers merely purchase grapes, but do none of the farming themselves. This disconnect from the land has hindered Californians’ understanding of their terroir. This wacky duo has opted to lease small vineyard plots and get their hands dirty. They convert these sites to organic/biodynamic farming, limit water, and forgo harsh and unnecessary sprays. Through thoughtful farming, they end up with extremely clean, balanced grapes which allows them to do much less in the winery. They sell off some of the grapes to likeminded winemakers in order to fund their passion project.
For their entry level project (Populis) they work closely with a handful of their favorite farmers around northern California. In particular, Larry Venturi has mentored them and provided them with gorgeous Zinfandel. These collaborators are mostly dry farming, using organic preparations.
2017 WABI SABI
Wabi Sabi is a quest for beautiful imperfection. Shaunt and Diego really admire the idiosyncrasies of the nine vineyards used to compile this blend. Vine age ranges from 15-70. Different techniques are used depending on grape variety. In some cases, whole clusters were used and in other cases the grapes were destemmed. As with all their wines, each lot was wild fermented. The wine was neither fined nor filtered before bottling. 13% ABV
Charlie Barra has been farming his vineyard for over sixty years. He was an early adopter of organics in California and goes above and beyond to ensure the health of the environment. This block of chardonnay was planted in 1972. They whole-cluster pressed this wine directly into neutral puncheon. It fermented and rested on full lees for ten months before being racked and bottled. This wine is unfined, unfiltered, and has no added Sulphur.
(125 Cases Produced) 793002