2020 Forlorn Hope Rorick Heritage Vineyard "Dragone Ramato", Calaveras County, Sierra Foothills, California, USA
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ABOUT THIS WINE
The name ‘Dragone Ramato’ contains both an indication of the style of the wine as well as a historical nod to one of the families that lived on our estate in the early 1900s. ‘Ramato’, translating to ‘copper’ from the Italian, is a traditional style of wine in the Veneto, where Pinot grigio is fermented on the skins as one would make a red wine and results in a lightly colored wine which will become more copper hued as it ages. The Dragone family lived on the western end of what is now the RHV estate where our Pinot gris is now planted, and their memory is carried on in the name that this wine bears.
The Dragone Ramato Pinot Gris was hand harvested; the clusters are tiny (golf-ball sized) and intensely colored. This wine was made in the traditional Italian ramato style: Whole clusters were placed into the fermenter and given daily pigeage just like a red wine; after 14 days the fermentation was pressed into neutral 227L oak barriques. The wine was racked off its lees at 12 months and saw a total of 14 months elevage. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. As with all Forlorn Hope wines, no new oak is utilized, and nothing was added to the must or wine (no cultured yeast, ML bacteria, water, tartaric acid, enzymes, nutrients, etc) with the exception of minimal effective SO2.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
The Forlorn Hope estate wines are honest and pure representations of site and variety. They believe deeply in the magic of organic viticulture and the beauty of Calaveras Limestone. Producing wines that embody the uniqueness of the estate requires that the winemakers don't alter what the vineyard bears, and to this end, they do not adjust the chemistry of the grapes with additives, commercial yeast, or bacteria. All of their wines are spontaneously fermented by native yeast that exist naturally on the grapes. In this way, whether the wine in question is complex and nuanced or bright, cheerful, and easy-drinking, it will be a true and unadulterated expression of the Rorick Heritage Vineyard.
Forlorn Hope does not use new oak barrels in the winery for the same reason they do not manipulate the grapes or must– the winemakers would rather showcase what the vineyard gives: a reflection of the soil, sun, and our time spent farming.
At Forlorn Hope Wines, we love the longshots. We love the outsiders, the lost causes, the people/projects/ideas abandoned as not having a chance in the world.
We love the little guy because we’re all about tenacity, we relish a challenge, and – we admit it – we love us a good tussle. Taken from the Dutch ‘verloren hoop’, meaning ‘lost troop’, Forlorn Hope was the name given to the band of soldiers who volunteered to lead the charge directly into enemy defenses. The chance of success for the Forlorn Hope was always slim, but the glory and rewards granted to survivors ensured no shortage of applicants. These bottles are our headlong rush into the breach. Rare creatures from the limestone slopes of Rorick Heritage Vineyard, these wines are our brave advance party, our pride and joy – our Forlorn Hope.