Argillet 2016 — Mondeuse
A Wine That
we can't stop thinking about. There is something almost intoxicating about its perfume. In fact, we wish we could bottle it as an eau de parfum and wear it. It exudes peonies and lavender crushed together, with sandalwood and cedar invading ever sense. The texture is unique; so silky and inky that it leaves purple-blue traces on your wine glass, as if you spilt the cartridge to your fountain pen.
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- Delivery: Delivery and gift wrapping options available at checkout.
- Winemaker: Jaimee Motley
Where and How?
From Santa Maria Valley, this rare Californian Mondeuse was planted in 1994. The soils are sandy loam with limestone washed down from the hillsides.
It was fermented with whole bunches, fermented naturally, and aged in old barrels for 11 months. It was bottled unfiltered and unfined, with the tiniest sprinkle of sulphur at bottling (under 20ppm total).
Jaimee grew up in her family's restaurant in Maryland, on the East Coast of USA. She moved to California to pursue her love of painting at university, with the aim of becoming a college professor one day. She was living in San Francisco, and while figuring out her career options, she worked back on the floor in a restaurant. While working as a server at the famed RN74 restaurant under the tutelage of Rajat Parr, she started to bury herself in wine books, meeting winemakers who would visit the restaurant.
She remembers, "I just fell in love with the idea of wine. I'd always loved being outside, and working with my hands, that tactile element. You find that in the winemaking environment too."
She was encountering wines that were pretty "out of the box," especially for the time back then. This is where she came across the rare Savoyard grape variety, Mondeuse.
"The vibrancy and complexity of the Mondeuse wines... I just connected with them immediately. They also weren't expensive, so I could somewhat afford them! It became a pure obsession and I would hunt down every bottle I could find."
She began working harvest in 2011, doing four days of harvest, and three nights at the restaurant. She decided that winemaking was the path for her, and so did the "Southern/Northern Hemispehere Harvest Hopping" to learn as much as she could with various winemakers across the globe. She eventually became assistant winemaker to Pax Mahle in Sebastopol, one of the godfathers of the lighter and gentler style of winemaking in California. When she had the chance to start her own label, and managed to find Mondeuse, and her other love - Chenin Blanc, in California, it was her dream come true.
Here it is; the inaugural vintage. We hope you fall just as much in love with these wines as we did when we first tasted them.
Photographs by Leigh-Ann Beverley