The SOMM Journal

December 2014/January 2015

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{ }  99 believe the tannins and acids are much more man- ageable and blended." In December, Vino Noceto will release AX1, the first of the wines made this way. Andis Wines, founded by commercial real estate developer Andrew Friedlander, boasts one of the most advanced winery facilities in Amador. One unique fermenting container being used at Andis is lovingly referred to by the cellar staff as "the egg," which ferments low and slow. I tasted a pretty Grenache-based rosé that was in its fourth week of fermentation and in which the Brix was steadily climbing by 1 point per day. The benefits of ferment- ing in this 100% concreate egg are that the lees are always in motion, as the wine is fully rotated around the inside of the vessel, preventing any uncontrol- lable hot spots. Made by Sonoma Cast Stone, it holds 476 gallons. This particular rosé will take about six weeks to finish fermentation. The serene and bucolic landscape of Amador County belies the progressive winemaking taking place there, but the wine these wineries are producing do not. Gone are the days of Amador being known for only one varietal—Zinfandel. There is a revolution, albeit a quiet one, taking place in Amador to produce red wines of distinction from varieties both known and unknown to the average wine consumer—a chancy bet at best, but one that a wine region on the move is willing to take. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDIS WINES Winemaker Rusty Folena is experimenting with the Altesino clone of Sangiovese at Vino Noceto. PHOTO COURTESY OF VINO NOCETO WINERY PHOTO COURTESY OF VINO NOCETO WINERY One of the 130-gallon puncheons used to ferment Sangiovese at Vino Noceto. "The egg" is a 475-gallon fermenter that ferments low and slow.

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