Berserker Day – Jan 2023

Wine Berserker Day #14

We are back for our fourth participation in Berserker day. Here are different ways to study what we are doing across various varieties, sites and vintages. Special Berserker Day pricing of 20% off on these select 3 and 6-packs.

Pinot Noir is the main varietal we produce. Here is a study in vineyard sites we call the 2017/2018 Sonoma Pinot Noir Grand-Triple-Play: Compare bottlings from 2 vintages and three great but different corners of Sonoma County AVA’s: Platt from the Southern Sonoma Coast, Gunsalus from the Green Valley of Russian River Valley and ‘High Slopes’ representing the southernmost tip of the Russian River Valley.

For a deep dive into Russian River Pinot Noir, here is a perfect opportunity to see how vintage affects the fit and finish across 6 vintages. All choices flow from a desire to showcase the AVA in the context of vintage personality. These bottlings originate within the Green Valley of Russian River Valley and display both the energy and the generosity of this great AVA.

Syrah has been another focus of ours for many years – before it was in favor and after it grew out of favor in the general marketplace. Two bottlings to sample here for a ‘Study in Syrah major and minor’: Calypso and Sasha. Calypso is a fine site to see over different vintages. It is a tiny vineyard dedicated to exploring and adapting the plantings as we have been discovering which clone/ rootstock/ trellis-systems are best suited there. Between 2014 and 2017, there are very different kinds of growing seasons. This is a great opportunity to see how the site shines under varied lighting. Sasha is the name we give for the prettier side of this variety: redder fruits, somewhat lighter body and more upward trajectory on the finish. This is not an extreme contrast to the other Syrahs we make. It is a different facet to a lovely gem that may shine brighter for some of our palates.

Helfer Vineyard is a tiny vineyard just across the street from Kistler.  It is a magical Chardonnay neighborhood, where the white, sandy version of goldridge soil lies. This 1 acre site produces a very small production and extremely limited availability wine. While it rich and complex, it has good balancing acidity.

Zinfandel was where I started and had to include our ‘Old & Mature’ Vines bottling made from the Old Vines my grandfather planted in 1912 and ‘mature’ vines I helped my Father and Grandfather plant in the 1970s. A month ago, we finished pruning the old 3.4 acre block. The last time my dad pruned them was the 2019/2020 winter when I joined him in doing so. After a couple winters pruning it solo, my son joined me for the first time this winter. I’m quite protective of these old vines and how each one seems to need a different approach than the next, and he did a fantastic job of assessing each plant’s needs. While I have actually experimented with a more heady style years ago on a trial basis (2005-2007 special cuvee), this is a site that I think really expresses its best facets with an elegant perspective. I selected a short vertical of the three newest vintages we have in a meaningful quantity in case someone is compelled to come back to the well.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at (707) 823-8980 or email


Pinot Noir, Sonoma County Grand Triple Play, 2017/2018, 6-pack$ 394.00

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Hilltop vineyard with birdnetting
Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Vertical 15-20, 6-pack$ 304.00

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Hand sorting grapes at the sorting table
Zinfandel Old & Mature Vines, Mini-Vertical 18-20, 3-pack$ 122.00

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Syrah, Sasha & Calypso Vineyard, Mini-Vertical 14-17, 6-pack$ 269.00

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Walking under the unique trellis for Calypso Syrah
Chardonnay Helfer Vineyard, Mini-Vertical 17-19, 3-Pack$ 150.00

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Bottle shot: 2012 Scherrer,Russian River Valley, Helfer Vineyard, Chardonnay