Ethan Joseph is a good good dude. Absolutely everyone says so. Seriously. Yet, his warm and inclusive personality might seem at odds with his inborn skepticism: Ethan is unmoved by absolutes and believes wholly in the rigors of self-discovery. Iapetus rests in the grey area, genuinely sustainable farming with aspects of conventional agriculture seasoned with permaculture ideas, biodynamic preparations and a new program integrating sheep into the fieldwork. The wines are less staunchly natural than many of his peers but they are always spontaneously fermented and the only inclusions are sulfite and inoculation for malolactic conversion. The result is a range of benchmark wines at the heart of America’s northeastern frontier, evangelizing the virtues of New England terroir and the novel cold-hardy hybrid grapes that thrive here. Seriously, he’s such a good dude it’s ridiculous…
La Crescent, the superstar white grape of the hybrids, pressed into temperature controlled steel tank for fermentation and bottled early without sulfite for that authentic Pet Nat vibe.
La Crescent macerated with the skins for a whopping 84 days before pressing into barrel and stee for aging with weekly battonage. The wine is delightfully aromatic with that crackling angular thing that keeps you reaching for more.
Marquette has emerged as one of the central red varieties of the hybrid scene. Fermented with 10% whole clusters in the mix with in humongous steel tank a long maceration of 72 days before pressing into barrel for a quick aging period of 3 months.
Louise Swenson and Itasca, the most recent of the UMN grape varieties. The Swenson is destemmed and pre soaked on the skins for a few hours before free run juice is racked to 225 L barrel for spontaneous fermentation. The Itasca goes right to barrel and after 8 months of aging the two are blended together and bottled. In many ways this wine feels like something out of Hungary or Austria with a fine balance of elegance and crystalline acidity.