One of the greatest joys in this business is the privilege to champion the work of people we adore! Shaunt and Diego are two of the best, most quintessentially Cali dudes you could ever meet. UC Davis expats that learned to turn rigorous theoretical chops into meaningful action while staging with some of the baddest producers in France. Their Populis project is the manifestation of a deep belief in making fascinating wines of inspiration that defy expectations without alienating the masses. The whole project can be encapsulated in an off-hand comment Shaunt made: "you can be curious and have precision!"
Over the years, the dynamic duo have continued to ask the question: how can we expand on this? Make each wine more delightful without losing the thread of purity? A dedication to quality through curiosity has led them to an unusual assortment of cellar techniques. What sets the Populis thing apart is ultimately a particular balance of brinksmanship and modesty; the idiosyncratic cellarwork is only ever in service to genuine childlike wonder. These are jungle gym wines that are funny, surprising and ultimately crushable.
Old vine Sauvignon Blanc roughly whole cluster pressed to get all those good good phenolics fermented in Flextank and a little bit in barrel. Aged in flextank until blending and bottling in the spring.
Owing to that same combination of hard, whole-cluster pressing and the inclusion of skin fermented white grapes employed for the Sauvignon Blanc (Chardonnay and perfumy Muscat in this case ), this Zinfandel based rosé blend also benefits from the inclusion of Clarksburg Pinot Gris to add a little extra fruitiness.
WABI SABI WHITE
The Wabi Sabi wines take inspiration from a Zen philosophy anchored around the harmonious beauty of odds and ends. The white is an homage to the blended wines of Cheverny with Chardonnay, Chenin, Sauvignon blanc and a splish splash of Colombard. Whole cluster pressed to bring out extra phenolics and fermented in a mix of Flextank and a small portion in barrel. Aged in flextank until blending and bottling in the spring.
Like 'Wabi Sabi red' this is a bit of a Frankenwine: mostly Carignane with a little semi carbonic Valdigue. The Carignane is split in two with half fermenting whole cluster and a portion . Fermented in a mix of flextank and neutral barrel and aged in tank until blending and bottling in the spring.
WABI SABI RED
The red takes the playfulness of piecemeal creation to a whole other level. Carignane three ways: whole cluster, whole berry destemmed and semi carbonic with some direct press (rose) Syrah and destemmed Zinfandel for good measure. Aged in a mix of Flextank and neutral barrel, blended in spring just before bottling