This is it, friends! The last of its kind! The final run of ‘Piedi
Gradi’ (big feet), La Clarine’s surprising blend of Nebbiolo and
Mourvedre! We’ll be the first to admit that some of winemaker
Hank Beckmeyer’s creations are a bit off the reservation and while
the temptation to lean into that humor here is substantial, the
2017 ‘Piedi Grandi’ has resolved into a special harmony of iconic
house style, variety and terroir.
When it was first released, 2017 ‘Piedi Grandi’ smacked of the
classic La Clarine manic tropical goodness. It was delicious but
that aromatic Cali Mourvedre thing was stealing the show; hard to
find the terroir and the Nebbiolo underneath. Hank held back a
portion of the ‘Piedi Grandi’ now reintroduced to the wild and
though the wine is still bursting with fruit and energy, a structure
has emerged that is everything to do with Nebbiolo and Sumu
Kaw terroir. At a lofty 3000 feet, the forested Sumu Kaw vineyard
has quite a lot to say and with time ‘Piedi Grandi’ has learned to
gracefully express grape, altitude and the volcanic loam that
distinguishes the terroir.
So if the wine is so flippin’ awesome why not make more, then?
Well, sadly, the answer is frost damage. There wasn’t any
Nebbiolo that survived ‘18 or ‘19 so Hank thought it was time to
put his efforts elsewhere.