In our opinion, you could not have asked for a better growing season than during the 2018 vintage. In July and early August, a long stretch of dry and hot weather helped the vines grow, but the heat wave broke right before véraison, giving the grapes milder daytime temperatures and cool nights to promote flavor development and preserve the bright acidity that we love. Rainfall was also ideal, where there was enough hydration to keep these dry-farmed vines hydrated without sacrificing concentration. That weather held through harvest, and as a result of this and excellent Biodynamic farming, the fruit at Johan was the best we’ve seen yet. The 2018 vintage gave us an excellent opportunity to experiment with both grape varieties that we work with from Johan and as we harkened back to our French days where we would notice both red and white grapes (likely from mutations) in the fermenters., we knew it was the right year to test out some thoughts. Tom was especially fond of a fermentation from Burgundy that he worked with and hence, the decision to co-ferment Pinot Noir and Chardonnay came to be. We are truly taken back by the results of this wine, which we call “Tulips”, named after Camille Shu’s art that is featured as the label for this wine from Johan Vineyard. The unique Johan site, which lays on marine sedimentary, Helvetia, silty loam, and even some rare broken granite soils really rings its influence on this wine in a truly “terroir” driven sense. Like our other wines, we utilized the pied de cuve (vineyard native yeast cultivation) build up, a technique that we now use for nearly all of our ferments. The Pinot Noir was left whole cluster and the Chardonnay destemmed, which resulted in a somewhat semi-carbonic fermentation. We feel that the fermentation method and varietal co-ferment resulted in a gorgeously complex wine. We aged the wine for 10 months in two neutral Burgundy barrels (228 liters) and only added a miniscule amount of sulfur one time just before the wine bottling. The 2018 “Tulips” Johan Vineyards is mineral-forward style wine that has true umami characteristics and is both fruity and savory at the same time, which we absolutely love! The aromatics are savory and spicy, with fresh strawberries, match stick, allspice and cardamom, and the ever present saline notes we typically notice in our Johan Chardonnays. The palate is electric and shows notes of red berries with brown spices. We believe the wine will develop gloriously in the cellar, but is drinking very well young too.