The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2017

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september 2017  /  the tasting panel  /  1 13 Vineyard in Lodi, California. Rich with rocky clay soils that echo the soils of Bordeaux, Clay Station is situated on naturally-terraced slopes 200–300 feet above the valley floor, catching the cooling breezes of the San Francisco Bay. Fruit from the Cabernet vines of Clay Station were originally blended into wine for top Napa Valley wineries; in 2006, a small number of grapes were set aside to bottle separately and branded "337" in honor of the famed Cabernet Sauvignon clone that adapted so perfectly to its California home. The quality and price point of the 337 wine were so well received, new varieties were transplanted from abroad and added to the portfolio, such as the Lodi-grown 181 Merlot (originally from Bordeaux); the Monterey County 667 Pinot Noir (originally from Dijon in Burgundy); Pinot Grigio (originally from Alsace); and the Chardonnay clone 4 from Napa Valley, which thrives in Block 46 of Noble Vines' San Bernabe vineyards, earn- ing the designation "446" on the label. As more vine stocks were added, the Indelicato family, owners of Noble Vines, hired vine expert Charlie Hossom to nurture and manage the vines to ensure the highest-quality fruit and wines. Dedicated to sustainable farm- ing, Hossom and the winemaking team adhere strictly to appellation-specific rules at each of the vineyards. As a founding member of the Central Coast Vineyard Team, Noble Vines ensures the vineyards are certified sustainable by the Wine Institute's California Sustainable Winegrowing Association or Lodi Rules program. With a commitment to superior quality—from the vine selection to how the wines are crafted— the Noble Vines portfolio continues to grow and offers some of the highest valued and truest varietal character wines in the $10–$15 range. Charlie Hossom, Director of Viticulture at Noble Vines. Master of the Vines Noble Vines' Director of Viticulture Charlie Hossom is a pre-eminent authority on grape vines. He works directly with the Noble Vines winemaking team to ensure that Noble Vines' sustainably-farmed vines thrive in the natural conditions of its estate vineyards. Hossom focuses his special- ized knowledge of clones to continuously improve the quality of Noble Vines wines. Adding to his credibility, Hossom serves as chairman for the American Vineyard Foundation's Grape Germplasm commit- tee—and represents the Wine Institute on the California Department of Food and Agriculture's grape certification committee. PHOTOS COURTESY OF NOBLE VINES

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