The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2016

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Page 42 of 116

42  /  the tasting panel  /  march 2016 SUSTAINABILITY F or more than 30 years, Folie à Deux has enjoyed great success and huge popu- larity with its delicious, value-driven wines that evoke the nuances of Sonoma County. However, even the prettiest faces need a little lift once in a while; so this year, Folie à Deux is rolling out new packaging, which is now showcased on current vintages and eventually all new varietals. The new packaging emphasizes that all the wines are selected exclusively from Sonoma County's legendary appel- lations, where each variety thrives in the local terroir—the Russian River Valley for Chardonnay, Alexander Valley for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Dry Creek Valley for Zinfandel and Sonoma Coast for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris—a conscious change that has been implemented over the years. Winemaker Joe Shirley explains, "Sonoma County is part of our core identity, and we wanted to make that more prominent on our labels." But it's not just the looks that matter; it's what underneath that counts as well. That's why the winery was recognized as certified sustainable last year. This winery's own Alexander Valley vineyard and those they source from, too, are either certified sustainable, or are in the process of becoming so—something that's important to Shirley. "Nobody wants to be making wines in a way that's causing long-lasting damage. Winemaking depends on the land on a long-term basis—the land has value. It's crucial that it's treated so it's productive both in quantity and quality." Together, Folie à Deux wines are defined by quality and sustainability, and embody a pitch-perfect fusion of grape variety and region, offering a glimpse of Sonoma's extraordinarily diverse terroir, region by region, vineyard by vineyard. Their 2014 Russian River Valley Chardonnay is the first release to sport the new packaging, and it's not just the label that's different. It's a Chardonnay that is unmistakably Russian River Valley, with memorable crispness, opulent and alluring, indicative of its cool-climate origins. Shirley describes this wine as having "brighter acidity, a more pure fruit expression and aged in French, American and Hungarian oak barrels, adding complexity to its rich flavors." He also sees the 2014 Russian River Chardonnay as a great wine for springtime sipping. "It's great for a hot day, with no cloying aftertaste and a fruit-driven approach." Folie à Deux is part of the Trinchero Family Estates portfolio. FOLIE À DEUX EMBRACES A NEW, MORE SUSTAINABLE, MODERN LOOK by Jesse Hom-Dawson / photos courtesy of Folie à Deux Conscious Change Folie à Deux Head Winemaker Joe Shirley.

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