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Jason Joyce
February 28, 2021 | Jason Joyce

Harvest Rose

Time Posted: Feb 28, 2021 at 1:11 PM Permalink to Harvest Rose Permalink
Jason Joyce
February 8, 2021 | Jason Joyce

2011 York Mountain Cab

Time Posted: Feb 8, 2021 at 1:12 PM Permalink to 2011 York Mountain Cab Permalink
Jason Joyce
January 28, 2021 | Jason Joyce

2011 Syrah

Time Posted: Jan 28, 2021 at 1:14 PM Permalink to 2011 Syrah Permalink
Jason Joyce
December 16, 2020 | Jason Joyce

2018 Tres Violet

Time Posted: Dec 16, 2020 at 1:14 PM Permalink to 2018 Tres Violet Permalink
Jason Joyce
October 13, 2020 | Jason Joyce


Time Posted: Oct 13, 2020 at 1:16 PM Permalink to Viognier Permalink
Jason Joyce
June 1, 2020 | Jason Joyce

A Trio Of Wines

Time Posted: Jun 1, 2020 at 1:18 PM Permalink to A Trio Of Wines Permalink
Jason Joyce
March 2, 2020 | Jason Joyce

Zinfandel Evolution

Time Posted: Mar 2, 2020 at 1:19 PM Permalink to Zinfandel Evolution Permalink
Jason Joyce
March 28, 2014 | Jason Joyce

Speechy Time

     Calcareous is heading down south for the VinDiego Wine and Food Festival next weekend.  We are on a panel talking about Bordeaux varietal wines from Paso.  To get ready for one of these I like to jot down general ideas and concepts so they are fresh in the mind.  Then, once the seminar begins, it is always best to just speak freely and let things go organically.  That is the only way to keep things engaging for the audience and make it feel more like a conversation over wine and not come winemaking 101 lecture.  Anyway, I decided to share with you my thought scribles I wrote down as my cheat sheet as a kind of behind the scenes.  Sadly, I got double booked and have to be Phoenix during that weekend.  Luckily for those in attendance though, Associate Winemaker Tyler Russell will be attending in my abscence.  We strongly share a general philosophy in winemaking and presentation style.  Speak to what you know and believe, and you will speak something of value. 


Vineyard Data

Varietal Acres Clone Root Tns/Acr Vns/Acr #/Vine
Cab Sauv 5.5 337 420A 2.2 1360 3.2
Cab Franc 1.45 312 1103P 2.1 1360 3.1
Merlot 1 181 1103P 2.5 1360 3.6
Malbec .97 9 1103P 4.2 1350  

     The only crop thinning we perform is on the Malbec, which is a minimal green drop right at veraison.   Thus the soils here produce an extremely low yielding vineyard by nature.  West Paso land is of such poor agricultural value, it can’t even be used as grazing land in a commercial sense.  Thus it has been sitting around waiting for the wine industry.In The Vineyard

    The Malbec much more productive due to varietal diefference, but mainly due to planting on only flat part of vineyard, thus the block contains actual top soil.  This allows for more vigorous growth.   Even with almost double the yield, the stunning quality of the Malbec produced on the property (it is now a main component of the Lloyd, actually biggest in 2010) has cemented our non-interventionist farming style. Unless something extreme happens, trust the vines to produce their fruit as they wish, our job is to work with the vines, not against them.  Applying a pre-concieved plan or notion is always a quick road to disaster.   Work with your site, this is the only way to stay true to place ( I use Place instead of terroir because I’m from California, not France) and produce a genuinely unique wine.    

     We harvest almost exclusively on flavor in the vineyard.  Analysis is only used to help reference how best to meet the needs of the fermentation. For our Bordeaux varietals, brix ranges from 24-29 brix with pH’s 3.2-3.6.  The mix of climate and soil and Calcareous produces complete physiological ripeness while still maintaining very strong acidity.  This is the very reason why Calcareous exists as a vineyard and winery. 


In The Cellar

   There is never an established protocol in the cellar as far as production goes.  Every lot, every vintage is unique.  Just taste, see and feel the fruit, it will tell you how it needs to be handled.  In most cases we use open top fermenters ranging from ½ ton to 5 tons.  This allows us to stay open to the needs of the fruit and yeast.  We are then free to use punch-downs, pump-overs, or delastage as needed, being as reductive or oxidative as will most enhance the fruit.  Complete physiological ripeness of skins and pips (brown seeds) allows for extended maceration (25+ days) with no fear of green tannins.   Most winemakers go to extremes to avoid seed tannin, we embrace it.  (In trials, the past few years, the press fraction of wines have proven superior in blind tasting due to superior tannin structure).  These tannins produces a natural toasted wood element in the wine without over use of oak tree tannin.  French oak barrels can lend wonderful flavors to the wine, but they do not speak to place. Thus we only use about 20% new oak in our lots.  

    We age from 16-36 months in barrel as is required by the wine.  An important issue with wineries large and small is balancing sales requirements with what is best for the wine.  The timing of these are rarely equal.   Sometimes you need to have a wine to pour and sell, but what to do if the winemaker is adamant that the wine needs more time in the barrel.  Our solution is to offer a wide range of wines and varietals (Pinot, Zin, Rhones, Bords, Whites) to give us a large spread of aging curves.  Thus there is always something ready to be tasted.  Maybe a hassle for a small winery to perform 10-12 bottlings a year, but if you don’t want hassle, don’t make wine.    




Time Posted: Mar 28, 2014 at 1:27 PM Permalink to Speechy Time Permalink
Jason Joyce
March 21, 2014 | Jason Joyce

Break Free From The Rote

Broke up, and I'm relieved somehow
It's the end of the discussions that just go round and round and round, and round, And round, and round it shouldn't have been anyway - Issac Brock  

    Wherever exists some topic that is written about and discussed endlessly,  there arises a desparate need for controversy to keep the discussion going.  The world of wine definitley falls into this pattern.  And true to form as in other worlds, I always find that the "controversies" concerning wine are rather boring and not all that important.  In the short amount of time I have been in wine, there are two topics that just will not go away. The first thing people just love love love love love love love to talk about is alchohol levels and ripeness.  It's a strange one way debate though as I have never encountered the enraged drinker of fruit driven big full bodied wines lamenting the mere existence of acid driven "elegant" wines.  That seems to ring the alarm bells of a created controversy to me and one that demands little attention.  This "debate" just seems like a complete waste of time and energy to me.  Wines exist in the full range of flavors and styles, drink what you like and let others drink what they like. As George Saintsbury, one of the godfathers of wine writing said: 

"The hardest thing to attain... is the appreciation of difference without insisting on superiority" 

The problem is that taste in wine is akin to taste in clothes or music, it has become a cultural proxy for establishing your ability to discriminate true quality.   It goes back to a great scene in one of my favorite movies, "How to work out what makes good things good is hard isn't it?"  And the importance of taste in today's world explains why things can get personal and defensive when talking about wine.

     The other topic which is at least somewhat interesting, but again not nearly as important as the time and effort dedicated to it its continuation is wine bottle closures.  It is interesting mainly due to it being part of the core idea of wine drinking and the importance of ritual.  The cork vs. screwcap story is almost an allegory for the moral debate on souls and brain chemistry.  The feeling of "Is there more to this or is the simple explanation the truth?" Screwcap advocates will site the evidence that screwcaps are superior in all regards in terms of performance and ease of use.  It represents human science outpermforming nature and all the back slapping that comes with that.  The cork set sticks by tradition and likes to say, "Hey man, a cork just feels right."  I myself have always gone with the cork.  It might not be perfect, but for a completely natural product, it is pretty damn good.   And then an old college friend sent me a video in the comments section of this very blog.  I thought it was eloquent enough that I should share it up on the front page, and as good a reason as any to stick with putting corks in the bottle, worts and all.  And just live with the fact that if you get a tainted bottle, let me know, we always gladly replace them with a fresh bottle. 

Time Posted: Mar 21, 2014 at 12:11 PM Permalink to Break Free From The Rote Permalink
Jason Joyce
March 5, 2014 | Jason Joyce

Chalking It Up On The Radio

    Every now and then I get the chance to free ramble ideas in what some people call an interview.  Well, Marc over at Surf Talk Radio thought it would be a good idea to talk wine and waves with me.  You can listen below to 16 minutes of my usual nonsense but in living audio form instead of just written words.  Oh my!

If the media player fails, just hit the link below and see if your computer is smart enough to figure things out itself.

Jason Saying Things

While I think the interview went well, it is clearly not the most in depth exploration of the mind and soul of a surfer, that of course would be this 20 seconds of pure California!



Time Posted: Mar 5, 2014 at 1:52 PM Permalink to Chalking It Up On The Radio Permalink Comments for Chalking It Up On The Radio Comments (2)