Stirm San Benito Cabernet Pfeffer
Out of stock
Region: San Benito, California, United States
Grape varieties: Cabernet Pfeffer
Stirm San Benito Cabernet Pfeffer is sourced in San Benito County, where the variety is grown, and nowhere else in the world.
Song: Now is the Time by Jade Bird
Out of stock
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About Stirm San Benito Cabernet Pfeffer
Stirm San Benito Cabernet Pfeffer is sourced in San Benito County, where the variety is grown, and nowhere else in the world. Not much is known for sure about its origins – it is thought to be a crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon and another unknown variety (maybe Trousseau), and it is thought to have been bred in Los Altos Hills, California, in the late 19th Century, by orchardist and winemaker William Pfeffer. There are less than 10 acres of it in the world.
The 2019 growing season was relatively mild, much like 2018, with a few key differences. We had elevated rainfall for the winter months, and budbreak started in mid-April, followed by some late rains in May, which helped provide the needed moisture for a larger than average crop. Close to perfect fruit set and a lack of extreme heat led to long hang time, high flavor development and low sugar accumulation. Harvested on October 5th, 2019.
The grapes were picked by hand. At the winery the grapes were given 9 days of whole cluster maceration to extract tannins, aroma, and flavor compounds in the skins via once daily pumpovers. After pressing and settling, the wine was racked into old barrels for 8 months elevage on fine lees. Racked to tank a month prior to bottling we ever use is sulfur. Bottled July 18th, 2020. 70 cases produced.
About Stirm Wine Company‘s Philosophy
“It’s our belief that authentic wine is a direct reflection of the specific patch of earth it comes from. This ethos drives us to work with the most unique and rugged vineyards found on the central coast. These special sites have a story to tell unlike any other. We have two simple goals that direct every operation above all else: to present the narrative of the growing season in a delicious and transparent format and to craft a wine with a strong foundation intended to age for decades. The fundamentals that we follow are old-school; we work with the seasons. We spend the majority of our time working in the vineyards, with our harvest season spent between monitoring natural fermentations to picking grapes and the overtime hours dedicated to fixing broken gear. Every year is unique, so the vineyard and cellar practices evolve annually to adapt to the changes each season brings forth. These simple methods require thoughtful, timely decision-making, detailed work, and the patience to allow the wine to evolve at its own pace. The results are singular, authentic wines that represent a region, a site, and are a piece of living California history.”
About Cabernet Pfeffer
Cabernet Pfeffer is a mysterious grape variety planted in tiny quantities in California. Not much is known for sure about its origins – it is thought to be a crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon and another unknown variety (maybe Trousseau), and it is thought to have been bred in Los Altos Hills, California, in the late 19th Century, by orchardist and winemaker William Pfeffer. Whether the variety was named after him, or for its spicy characteristics (“Pfeffer” is German for pepper) is a further mystery.
Only a small handful of Californian producers are known to make wine from this grape, most of them located in San Benito, a wine region at the southern end of the Santa Cruz mountains. In California, around 12 acres (4.5 hectares) are currently planted to the variety. Varietal examples of Cabernet Pfeffer exhibit bright, red-fruit characters such as cherries, a hint of bitterness, and plenty of black pepper and spice. These wines are lighter than those of their parent Cabernet Sauvignon but retain much of its famous tannic structure.
To complicate matters even further, Cabernet Pfeffer is thought to be either identical to or frequently confused for Gros Verdot, an obscure variety native to Bordeaux. Localized DNA profiling has confirmed the two are identical in certain vineyards but this has yet to account for the majority of Cabernet Pfeffer plantings. Other studies have found that certain Cabernet Pfeffer vines are, in fact, the even more obscure French Mourtaou grape variety.