Our California expert, Clare Tooley, calls this rare, tiny-production Pinot blend her “No. 1 find this year.” And if you’re lucky enough to taste it, we think you’ll agree …
O.T.P. is crafted by La Follette Wines, one of California’s most lauded producers of Pinot Noir – famed for their single-vineyard wines. For this exclusive release, winemaker Simone Sequeira blended Pinot Noir (75%) with Pinot Meunier (25%). The latter grape famously stars in Champagne alongside Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but is only grown in a handful of vineyards in California.
Both grapes grow together in a two-acre block on Sonoma Mountain’s famed van der Kamp vineyard (hence the wine’s name: O.T.P or “of the place”). La Follette produces so little Pinot Meunier that it usually gets blended away or disappears in the cellar. But when Clare tasted it as a standalone wine, she was blown away: “I loved it so much, I asked Simone if she could save some of it and craft a Pinot Noir-Pinot Meunier blend just for us.” And thus O.T.P. was born.
After careful, sustainable farming, the fruit was harvested at four different times: “we picked each small lot at its perfect stage of ripeness,” says Simone. The grapes then received the utmost care in the cellar: fermentation with native yeasts, aging in fine oak barrels from two family-owned coopers (de Jarnac and Sirugue), and bottling without fining or filtering (to preserve its full spectrum of flavors). In the glass, look for notes of fresh raspberry, strawberry, and black cherry, with beautifully interwoven toasty oak and super-silky tannins.
This is a very special wine, and Simone only crafted a limited number of cases. First come, first served.