Prie Vineyards Counoise, Claypool Vineyard, Lodi 2020

Pale garnet color; strawberry, raspberry, plum on the nose; raspberry, plum, strawberry, licorice, pepper on the palate.

Prie Vineyards Counoise, Claypool Vineyard, Lodi 2020

Dry; light, bright; soft tannins with good acidity. Counoise is a black grape usually found as a blending grape in the Rhône Valley. It is noted for its muted, silky tannins, low alcohol, and good acidity. The grapes come from the Claypool Vineyard next door to Prie Vineyards and the wine produced is true to the varietal character. No oak. Gapes are picked early, preserving acidity and avoiding over-ripeness, which is how counoise should be managed. 12.6% ABV

John and Lisa Gash purchased property on Alpine Road in 2012 to be a home and a winery. They immediately began a program to transform a traditionally farmed cabernet sauvignon vineyard into one featuring Rhône grape varieties. From the beginning, they focused on being ecologically balanced—eliminate chemical fertilizers and pest control, reduce material going to landfills. They raise chickens for eggs and as natural pest control. Organic farming. Not tilling, instead cover crops of native grasses, grains, crimson clover, California poppy, and other plants to deliver organic composition to the soil. A solar project was completed in 2017, a second system is in progress.

Prie Vineyards winemaker Lisa Gash

Prie Vineyards Counoise, Claypool Vineyard, Lodi 2020 is Rhône variety usually a blender, uncommon in California, delicious in the hands of the Gash family winemakers. Tastes similar to quality pinot noir with its soft tannins, conservative alcohol, good acidity. Very easy drinker.

Pair with sausage and shrimp jambalaya; gumbo; grilled lamb chops; grilled and roasted meats; beef stews; fleshly fish—tuna, salmon, especially tuna niçoise; pork; chicken and duck. Cheese—aged cheeses; gruyere. Because of its acidity, pairs with very wide range of cheeses—experiment with confidence. $33

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