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Creativity and Discovery Live Here

CAST Creative Lab

 

Welcome to the CAST Creative Lab

We have wrapped up the first year of the CAST Creative Lab (CCL) and a huge THANK YOU for all those exploratory wine drinkers out there who fearlessly explored some familiar wine varietals made in bright, exciting and surprising ways. Supporting CAST in this program not only allowed us to roll up our sleeves during the pandemic and try some new processes, but also allowed our winemaking and marketing teams to engage their skills, stretch their intuitive wine making senses, and explore their creativity. We are certainly honored to have a team that exemplifies the spirit of exploration and understands that taking risks can yield the some delightful results.

Two wines from the CCL program will graduate to our main assortment in the Spring of 2022 ; the Pét Nat of Pinot Noir (Let’s Party) and the White Zinfandel (Don’t Judge Me). These two wines were received so well when introduced  into our tasting flights we decided to continue them, bottling this coming January.

CCL for 2022 is still under development, two of three wines we had planned for the vintage suffered from a fruit shortage (no, not the drought) courtesy of a hungry bear. We hope she/he has delightful dreams this winter! But we are moving forward with a unique  style Rosé, if you’re interested in being on the CCL mailing list, please send us a note and we’ll keep you current on this and future experimental wines.

 

CAST Creative Lab’s 2021 Releases, a recap:

THE FIRST RELEASE – A FEW LEFT!
First up was a wine we call “go your way”, our take on a Grenache Nouveau. It’s sourced from a small vineyard and made in a completely unique manner to produce a dynamite example of a fresh and zesty red wine preferably served chilled. The vineyard, just two acres, is biodynamically farmed from vines supplied by legendary grower Randall Grahm, the original “Rhone Ranger.” We brought the fruit in and made the wine using the carbonic maceration process whereby the entire grape cluster is put into a stainless tank and sealed under a blanket of carbon dioxide. There, a unique type of enzymatic fermentation begins within the grapes themselves. This extracts delicate fruit and floral aromatics and flavors. The tank is opened and treaded by foot every day as native yeasts finish the job. The wine is bottled early with just a little of the natural CO2 and acidity to make it literally mouthwatering! This process captured the earthy quality and funkiness of an old world Grenache, but is produced in a new way that promotes the fresh and bright notes of the fruit  – a truly perfect blend of old and new world winemaking.

pick date-9/11/2020
48 case production
3.40 PH
11.53% alcohol
100% neutral Oak

 

Pét Nat Pinot

THE SECOND RELEASE – SOLD OUT

“Let’s Party” is a radiant new wine many of you loved. This wine was our first take on a “pétillant naturel” or “Pét-Nat” of Pinot Noir.

“Let’s Party” was crafted by hand in an ancient sparkling wine process resulting in this feisty, young, fruit forward, low tannin, playful way of revisiting the past. Full cluster fermentation.  Cherry notes on the palette. Orange blossom, Indian baking spices, high-tone cherry, dusty tannins on the finish.

“Let’s Party” 2020 Pét Nat Pinot Noir production notes. First, the Saignee! While crafting our popular and delicious Pinot Noir, we typically “bleed off” just a little bit of the juice from the tank of fermenting must. This leaves a higher skin-to-juice ratio for the main tank during fermentation, giving us the desired concentration and richness we seek in that wine. The French call this Saignee, literally translated as “to bleed”, and it leaves us with a rose colored bi-product wine, typically just used for “topping”.
The second step we then took was to keep this juice separate while it continued to ferment, and then, using an ancient process called the Méthode Ancestral, we bottled the wine while it was still fermenting, thus trapping in CO2, producing bubbles.

The last step is to riddle the sediment from the native yeast to the neck of the bottle, freeze it and disgorge the ice “plug”. All of this is done by hand, so very time consuming and labor intensive. But the result, a delicious Pétillant Naturel of Pinot Noir (frequently referred to as a “Pét Nat”) is worth it. If we hadn’t already committed these bottles, we probably would have just kept them for ourselves!

pick date-9/11/2020
34 case production
3.40 PH
12% alcohol
100% neutral Oak

 

 

THE THIRD RELEASE – SOLD OUT

“don’t judge me” is CAST’s White Zinfandel completely unexpected, but serious take, on white Zinfandel- almost clear, mineral, dry, high acid, very little color, very subtle. This wine could be described as androgynous, a puzzle, conservative in appearance but completely unexpected in taste. This wine is likely to “under promise” and “over deliver.”

Uniquely an American attribution, Zinfandel  has its history being a bit low-brow, overly accessible, in your face, sweet, jammy, not the varietal of typical wine enthusiasts. This wine has a completely different profile. The nose of this wine starts with bright cherry pie filling and delicious all-butter pie crust aromas. Bright boysenberry notes and warm baking spices like all-spice, clove and a black cardamom linger on the nose. The palate is surprisingly juicy and lush with big, full tannins, fruit tones of fresh picked raspberries and cherry cordial.

These grapes were picked at 4am to ensure stable sugars as we were going for a dry wine. Within a couple hours the grapes are loaded into our press where went through a 2 hour press cycle slowly extracting the juice with minimal color. Fermented in stainless steel for 5 months.

 

 

100% Zinfandel
Harvest date:  September 1, 2020
Stainless steel
5 Months
30 cases
whole-cluster pressed (not full cluster)

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FOURTH RELEASE – SOLD OUT

 

“Fearless,” our pét-nat of old vine zin, was inspired and produced with an eye towards capturing the essence of the versatile and individualistic Zinfandel fruit. Through the process of natural, hand-crafted wine making, we are bringing new relevance to this storied grape.

Born via the saignée method from the creation of our 2020 Watson Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel, this wine was stored for 24 hours in stainless steel to allow the must to settle. This process helps to further concentrate the old vine bottling of Zinfandel from the Watson Vineyard while retaining a small amount of the juice to help fuel our wine-making team’s creativity and imagination.

This frisky wine was a stubborn child during fermentation, and more of a challenge than the previous three experimental Cast Creative Lab wines. Wine making always presents a unique set of hurdles for our team each year, but they handled things with grace and style, creating a finished product that we are supremely proud to call our own. The finished product is not disgorged, received no final dosé, and was bottled without S02, fining, or filtering. This wine is as honest as they come. 

100% Zinfandel
Harvest date:  September 6, 2020
31 days in stainless steel
26 cases
24 hours of skin contact

 

 

 

The CAST Creative Lab program is over for 2021, please reach out if you are interested in next year’s releases.

Happy 2022!Take advantage of this rare deal andrestock your cellar.

As a thank you for your support, and to celebrate a new year, 
we want to offer everyone 15% off ANY WINE purchase and $1 dollar ground shipping on 6+ bottles now through January 31st. Members enjoy 25% off ALL WINES and $1 ground shipping on 6+ bottles now until January 31st! Not a member?
Please reach out to our
 Member Concierge to assist you selecting the perfect CAST Membership for you.

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