Onward, the first label of winemaker Faith Armstrong Foster, is reserved for her single-vineyard mono-varietals, including Pinot Noir, Malvasia, and Carignan. (Her second label, Farmstrong, is for blends.) The fruit for this bottling was grown at Hawkeye Ranch in Redwood Valley, from which she has made a still Pinot Noir since 2010. Here she treated it to a pét nat style made with native yeast and released un-disgorged, finished with a crown cap.
The wine is a slightly milky red peach skin color, its vestiges of murky lees contributing savoriness, texture, and complexity. The fragrance is of fresh bread and golden brioche but also yellow peaches and tangerine, a whiff of grass. The body is soft and creamy, its fizzy-chewy texture a result of nature’s carbonation plus not-too-sharp acidity. Fruit suggests fresh berries (raspberry, strawberry), ripe tomato, and peach skin, and it’s both fully dry and ever so slightly bitter, especially toward the cloudier end of the bottle. It offers a grounding seriousness that vanishes in a flare of almost-tea.
It’s truly delicious, offering salt, fruit, froth, and umami refreshment. Pair it with nearly anything or drink it on its own.
12.1% abv | $30 (sample) 175 cases made