WineSmith Saint Laurent 3-Pack

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(3) - 2014 WineSmith Saint Laurent, Ricci Vineyard, Carneros, Sonoma County, 750ml

Visit the Clark Smith Wines website

This grape has very tight clusters and does poorly in humid climes like France, preferring high altitude where dry air and high UV suppress mold.  It is widely planted in Austria and is the principal red grape of the Czech Republic, where it is known by its German name, Sankt Laurent. It matures very early, near the martyrdom date of Saint Lawrence of Rome, who was executed by Emperor Valerian on August 10 of the year 258 AD.  This early harvest date is ideal for the short seasons of cool continental climates, resulting low alcohol. 2014 was a cold year, so there is more acidity and palate life here than the previous vintage, and the nose is brighter.
The addition of well-seasoned French oak in the fermenter helps extract and stabilize color and provides whiskey lactone, an aromatic lifting element.
It really is like no other wine. You will find extremely dense, soft tannins supporting generous mulberry fruit which you might easily mistake for Gamay Noir except for its lingering basil aftertaste that reminds me of Carmenère. There is no better example of the postmodern winemaking principle of aromatic integration. The wine is actually full of pyrazines, yet does not smell like bell pepper, and only expresses them in the character of sort of Eastern European personality: generous and friendly but slightly cynical. 
As a result, the wine is more complex and intriguing than a simple picnic wine, but is certainly suitable for an outing in some summer meadow with a basket full of chicken and three-bean salad.  Its tannins have no edge at all, so I wouldn’t serve it with a steak, but it loves game, from venison to quail and is magic with my Swedish meatballs, doused in a morel / porcini cream sauce with a dash of Marsala.
My goal is to produce skillfully crafted wines that explore winemaking possibilities beyond the contemporary mainstream. - Clark Smith, Winemaker
Vineyard Location: Dale Ricci Vineyard, Sonoma Carneros
5th leaf of experimental planting



  • Harvest Date: 26 August 2014
  • Harvest Sugar: 20.7 Brix
Fermentation techniques:
  • 100% crush/destem
  • Anchor VN112 yeast inoculum
  • 7 gm/L untoasted Alliers chips, air seasoned 2 yrs
Elevage details:
  • Malolactic fermentation in barrel
  • Neutral French oak aged 27 months
  • TA: 6.7 g/L
  • pH: 3.73 at bottling
  • Alcohol: 12.6%
  • Production: 141 cases

Winery Details

WineSmith Cellars

Clark Smith
Sebastopol, CA
Clark Smith is an MIT drop-out who wandered out to California in 1972 and sold wine retail in the Bay Area for several years, where he acquired a love of Bordeaux, Burgundy and all things French and observed first hand the California winery explosion in the 1970s. After a three year stint at Veedercrest Vineyards, he secured enology training at UC Davis and spent the 1980s as founding winemaker for The R.H. Phillips Vineyard in Yolo County. In 1990, he founded WineSmith Consulting and patented a group of new winemaking techniques involving reverse osmosis, spinning off Vinovation, which went on to become the world’s largest wine production consulting firm over its 17-year history.
Frustrated with California’s winemaking trends, Clark started WineSmith Cellars in 1993 as a teaching winery to make Eurocentric wines to explore traditions beyond the mainstream, expanding for his winemaking clients the range of possibility for California fruit. Choosing to create long-term partnerships with committed growers rather than growing his own grapes, Clark has become an renowned expert on Cabernet Franc, having vinified twenty vintages from a wide variety of sites.
Teaching at Napa Valley College gave him access to the Student Vineyard for Faux Chablis and his Pauillac-style $100 “Crucible” Cabernet Sauvignon. From Renaissance Vineyards in North Yuba County he has made a sulfite-free Roman Syrah and also produces a Pinot Noir from Fiddlestix Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills in a delicate, age-worthy Côtes de Beaune style. These wines are vinified in an ancient beat-up warehouse in Sebastopol, California.
WineSmith wines are noted for their longevity, classic balance, structural integrity, minerality and understated soulfulness. They often are aged extensively prior to release. When drinking a WineSmith wine, always ask yourself “What is this wine trying to teach me?” Clark is a vocal advocate of living soil and graceful longevity, and generally avoids excessive oak, alcohol, or extended hang-time. He is not shy about employing new tools when they are needed, such as alcohol adjustment to bring fruit into balance or micro-oxygenation to build refined structure, but always fully discloses techniques which are controversial and is outspoken in explaining his rationale.
His book, Postmodern Winemaking, is the culmination of four decades of reflection on wine’s true nature.

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WineSmith Saint Laurent (3)
$54.99 Sold Out Food, Beverages & Tobacco > Beverages > Wine
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