Sometimes a teacher can change the trajectory of your life. Even a quip in jest can unwittingly alter your path.
That’s what happened to Joe Webb, an avid skier who grew up in the Sierras, just south of Yosemite. He never even considered a career as a winemaker until his high school teacher joked the profession would allow him to make wine in the fall and ski in the winter.
Webb is behind our Wine of the Week winner –– the Foursight, 2016 Charles Vineyard, Clone 05 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir at $54.
The pinot is complex with a depth of flavors. It’s savory and weighted to black fruit with notes of black cherry and plum. The Foursight is crisp with great balance, yet supple with a lingering finish. It’s gorgeous.
“I aim to make wines in a very traditional style, balanced and elegant with structure but also pleasurable fruit for enjoying now,” Webb said.
The 2016 vintage, he explained, was the first real post-drought harvest with moderate temperatures and balanced vines.
“The Pommard clone of pinot noir does really well in our vineyard, and we always love it bottled individually without blending it with other clones (or types) of pinot noir that we grow,” he said. “It has beautiful fruit, but also shows a touch of the more savory side of pinot noir – a great combination.”
Webb, 39, is co-owner of Foursight as well as the winemaker. He has a degree from Sonoma State University in Business Administration with a concentration in Wine Business Strategies. Webb worked at Londer Vineyards before starting Foursight, a boutique winery in Mendocino County.
The goal at Foursight, Webb said, is to have a light touch in the cellar. He ferments with wild yeast, keeping additions to a minimum and bottles unfined and unfiltered.
“Making wine can be a tough balance –– knowing when to act and when to just give the wines some time is always stressful,” Webb said. “But as we only make wines from our estate, where I live and work, I believe that gives me a leg up on when it comes to knowing exactly how the fruit in the vineyard is progressing and when the right pick date has come. My goal is to put the time (vintage) and place (vineyard) into the bottle.”
You can reach Wine Writer Peg Melnik at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-521-5310.
THIS WEEK’S BLIND TASTING: Pinots of Elegance
Foursight, 2016 Charles Vineyard Clone 05, Anderson Valley, 13.9% alcohol, $54. ★★★★1/2
This pinot is complex with a depth of flavors. It’s savory and weighted to black fruit with notes of black cherry and plum. The Foursight is crisp with great balance, yet supple with a lingering finish. It’s gorgeous.
—Three Sticks, 2016 Price Family Vineyards, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 14.5%, $65. ★★★★: This is a pretty pinot with layered notes of tangy red cherry, cranberry, currant and cedar. Crisp acid with pitch perfect balance. Well crafted.
—Black Kite, 2016 River Turn, Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, 14.6%, $60. ★★★★: A lush pinot with complexity. It has a range of aromas and flavors –– plum, berry and toffee. The Black Kite has a big personality and makes no apologies. Impressive.
—Davis Bynum, 2016 Jane’s Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County Pinot Noir, 14.5%, $55: An earthy pinot with aromas and flavors of mushroom, mineral and cherry. Toasty. Nice length.
—La Crema, 2016 Monterey Pinot Noir, 15.5%, $23. ★★★1/2: A tasty pinot with bright notes of red fruit –– cherry, raspberry and rhubarb. Hint of red plum. A touch earthy. Balanced. A steal for the quality.