Venerable Vintages

Photo of Kay & Don Baumhefner: Liz Hafalia / San Francisco Chronicle / Polaris

Honoring the traditional French practice of méthode champenoise, “En Tirage” refers to that period of time during which bottled still wine is given the opportunity to sparkle. The addition of yeast and a little sugar creates the defining bubbles that will grow smaller and softer each year. And this luxurious cellar aging of all our En Tirage wines reduces the amount of finishing dosage sugar needed to less than half the normal amount, thereby earning them the designation of “Extra Brut.”

1990 En Tirage Extra Brut

1990 En Tirage Extra BrutThe 1990 En Tirage Extra Brut sparkling wine is truly unique for having recently been disgorged after 20 years of aging in the cellar. Remaining all this time in contact with the yeast has preserved its fresh, lively, and fruity character. In addition, the extended aging in the bottle has given it a lush, creamy flavor and an amazingly long finish. Only this combination of recent disgorgement and prolonged bottle aging can offer you such a miraculous balance between the effervescence of youth and the subtle nuances of maturity.

APPELLATION: Russian River Valley – Hopkins Ranch
VARIETY: 100% Pinot Meunier
PRODUCTION: 200 cases
ALCOHOL: 12.5%

2010 En Tirage Wines

2010 En Tirage Blanc de Noirs and 2010 En Tirage Blanc de Blancs

Both the 2010 Blanc de Noirs and Blanc de Blancs were just recently disgorged after aging en tirage for over six years, which enabled them to mature into more opulent, intense, and complex wines. As with our 1990 vintage, this extended yeast contact kept the fruit flavors fresh and lively, while also allowing the wines to develop a creamier and more voluptuous texture.

2010 Blanc de Noirs

2010 En Tirage Blanc de Noirs

TASTING NOTES: “A copper pink hue with streaming micro-bubbles conveys the enticing nature of this wine. Dried mountain strawberry, tart rhubarb and red apple aromas compliment the nutty toasty bread dough notes that are prominent on the nose. The palate impression of this wine is all-encompassing. Fruitful and rich, savory and tart, nutty and brilliant textured, this wine offers a complexity that could only result from extending lees aging in bottle.”

– Desmond Echavarrie, Master Sommelier

2010 En Tirage Blanc de Noirs label

APPELLATION: Carneros – Beckstoffer Las Amigas Vineyard
VARIETY: 100% Pinot Noir
PRODUCTION: 207 cases
ALCOHOL: 12%

2010 Blanc de Blancs

2010 En Tirage Blanc de Blancs

TASTING NOTES: “The pale straw color and very subtle sparkling appearance of this wine, veil what lies beneath. Aromas of warm butter croissant, lemon curd, baked apple, and dried honeycomb give the impression you just walked into a French bakery. Toasty and doughy flavors paired with tart citrus fruit and subtle nuttiness convey the maturity and complexity of a wine developing though lees aging. On the palate, these rich flavors are layered upon each other in a savory mille-feuille of structured decadence. Silky effervescence provides the textural background for an elevated acidity to pierce through the gravity of this wine which perfectly expresses the ethos of En Tirage.”

– Desmond Echavarrie, Master Sommelier

2010 Blanc de Blancs label

APPELLATION: Carneros – Beckstoffer Las Amigas Vineyard
VARIETY: 100% Chardonnay
PRODUCTION: 322 cases
ALCOHOL: 12%

Learn more about En Tirage.

If you would like to purchase bottles of En Tirage for your personal enjoyment, contact Don Baumhefner.

If you would like to offer En Tirage in your restaurant or store, contact our wholesaler.

Recently Disgorged Sparkling Wines