Novo Vivo is a new departure for Lingua Franca. It is a wine that is very labor intensive and was undertaken to see what would happen as an experiment on fruit from two blocks of very structured fruit with small to medium sized berries, known as Clone 943. Dominique championed this part of the vineyard from our first harvest, because of its structure and fine tannins, and also for its strong minerality, and definitely non-fruity, terroir-specific qualities that he felt most approximated what he looked for in Burgundy in the finest vineyards.
The resulting wine is structured and dense but also has a compelling undefineable quality that may make it the finest and yet most difficult to describe wine we have ever made. It has an mineral, herbal, floral, graphite, and black tea complexity that remains supple and richly textured.
This wine was picked specifically for the experiment with popped-head, open top barrel fermentation. Because it was an experiment, only two puncheons were produced yielding a bit more than 90 cases of wine. It was a selection from Blocks 4b and 7b of moderate yielding Clone 943, grown near the top of the vineyard. The Lingua Franca Estate Pinot Noir crop was of exceptional promise, even though we were only able to make a small fraction of the expected amount. The total for this cuvée, smallest Pinot Noir cuvée of the vintage, is 90 9-Liter cases.
Two 600-liter puncheons were selected as a ferment vessel the heads were popped off and the barrels stood on end to serve as small fermenting vessels. One was filled only with completely destemmed, whole berry fruit. The other with completely whole clusters. When they were done with fermentation the juice was racked off and the puncheons cleaned and heads replaced before the wines were returned to their respective puncheons for elevage. Hence the new oak percentage of 50% is the highest we have had to date in any of our wines and the whole cluster percentage is equal to that we have used only beforehand in Mimi’s Mind.
Food Pairing Notes
This wine is really destined for someone with patience, but if you must enjoy it in the next year or two, I recommend strongly flavored cuts of meat, a rib-eye rather than a filet mignon, wild boar or venison, rack of lamb with herbs de Provence or leg of lamb with mustard, garlic and rosemary. If one contemplates a big feast, porchetta or whole roasted pig or spit-roasted goat would make for a wonderful marriage of food and wine.
If one can wait two or three years, and has a temperature controlled space to store wine, then it can be enjoyed at a later date with lamb chops, NY Strip or Filet Mignon steaks, Duck à l’orange, roasted chicken with morels, or seared duck breast, veal chop with rosemary or a porcini risotto.