Saint Gregory #11 "Cuvée Alexandra" Brut
The grapes for our Saint Gregory Brut come exclusively from the beautiful high elevation Potter Valley at the head waters of the Russian River in Mendocino County. 34% of this wine is Chardonnay from the John McMenomey Vineyard located next to the Russian River near the entrance of the valley. Another 41 % is Pinot Noir from the Naughty Boy Vineyard which is also grown next to the Russian River but at the upper northern end of Potter Valley. The remaining 25 % is Pinot Blanc from our Nube Bianco Vineyard located near the southern end of Potter Valley, on a slight bench, above the Russian River, which is grown by our vineyard manager Tom Barrett. All the grapes were whole cluster pressed and 100% barrel fermented and sur-lie aged in neutral French Burgundy barrels for 6 months without malo-lactic fermentation. The wines were then blended, fined, filtered and cold stabilized. The wine was then bottled with the addition of yeast and sugar with a crown cap and the bottles were laid to rest in metal bins for three and half years on their sides (tirage) or also called Sur-latte. Here is where the second fermentation occurs which give sparkling wine its fascinating bubbles and its yeasty-toasty character. The longer the yeast are in the bottles the more they breakdown (autolysis) and the more yeasty toasty character they give the wine. Also, this extended ageing give the wine extremely fine and persistent bubbles. After this aging the wine is placed in a riddling machine where all the spent yeast is moved into the neck of the bottle. Once finish with this process, the bottles are placed neck down in a freezing bath, the caps are removed and the yeast are expelled (disgorged) from the bottle and the bottles are filled (dosage) with a measured amount of sugar and wine, also called the liqueur d’ expedition and corked and covered with a wire hood and a capsule to prevent the corks from popping out.