La Clarine Farm

How to order / Terms of Sale

Call us at 530-306-3608 or follow the links below (“Buy Now”) to order on-line.

We accept all major credit cards.  Prices do not include CA sales tax (if applicable) and shipping charges. A case discount will apply to all orders of 12 or more bottles.  Shipping restrictions may apply.  If your state is not listed on our online system, please call us - there may be a way to ship your wine.  We will not ship during excessively warm or cold weather.  Shipping to a business address is preferred.

Our wines are unfiltered and unfined, so please expect some sediment and/or haze in some of the wines.  It is not a sign that the wine is defective.  Please contact us if you think a bottle might be “bad” - we want to to be happy with your purchase - but remember that “I don’t like it” is not a reason for return.

All wines sold in California and title passes to the buyer in California.  We make no representation to the legal rights of anyone to ship or import into any state outside of California.  The buyer is solely responsible for shipment of wines.  By placing an order, you authorize us to act on your behalf to engage a common carrier on your behalf to deliver wine to you.  Wines may be sold only to persons 21 years old.  By placing an order, you represent to us that you are at least 21 years old.  When your wine is delivered to you, you will be required to show identification proving that you are at least 21 years old

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2013 Petit Manseng

Quite possibly a native of far southwest France and the Basque region of Spain, Petit Manseng is something of a rarity in California.  In France, it is best known for the wines of Jurancon, most notably the sweet wines (the dry wines, Jurancon Sec, are usually made from a blend of Petit manseng and its cousin, Gros Manseng). 

We've found a small patch of Petit Manseng in the Fenaughty Vineyard outside of Placerville, and have been working with it for three years now (including this harvest).  The learning curve has been pretty steep: first, the grape collects sugar like nothing else I've seen.  30+ brix?  Not a problem.  Second, it retains its acidity like nothing else, too.  1.2, 1.4 grams per liter?  At 30 brix?  Not a problem! (By comparison, most other grapes at that ripeness level loose most of their acidity.)

I am not much of a dessert wine kinda guy, so I wanted to make a dry Petit Manseng.  With its rapid sugar accumulation and screaming acidity, this was going to be a challenge!  Careful monitoring of the grape as it ripens is most important.

The third issue with the grape is yield.  The berries are quite small, the skins are very thick and the seeds are quite large.  There's not much room in the berry for juice! We've found about 80%-90% of normal juice yield can be expected.

So, in 2013, we harvested 3 bins of grapes from the vineyard, at 23.1 brix, 2.9 pH and 14.1 g/l acidity.  Three bins, with normal grapes, would weigh in at about 3000 lbs, and yield about 225 gallons of juice.  Our three bins of Petit Manseng weighed 1875 lbs!  Our juice yield after pressing?  130 gallons.

Some of the juice went straight into the Jambalaia Blanc blend, but we kept 80 gallons separate.  The wine took nearly six months to ferment, ending up at 13.5% alcohol.  The wine rested on its lees until bottling in August 2014.

It is a very intense wine, full of exotic fruit aromas, a medium body, and spicy, pineapple and lemon peel flavors.  The acidity is prominent, but nicely balanced.  The wine needs food, preferably food with some fat in it.  We have had it and enjoyed it with hard cheeses (avoid soft cheeses) and grilled salmon.  I suspect it would pair well with pork belly (update: confirmed!).  There's lots of room to experiment here.

How will it age?  That's anybody's guess, but I suspect, based on how well Jurancon Sec can improve over time, that this wine will age well.

31 cases bottled.  Screwtop closure.  13.5% alcohol.

$25 per bottle.

2013 Mourvedre “cedarville”

There is no other wine in our portfolio with which I so strongly identify.  It was the first wine we made (at least commercially, in 2007), and it still continues to inspire me even today.  It is, along with the Sumu Kaw Vineyard Syrah, a wine which defines La Clarine Farm. 

It is for me classic – balanced, full of fragrance and flavor, it ages gracefully.  And its production is classic, too.  Made from a small block of vines, it is always limited in quantity.  We foot-stomp and whole-cluster ferment the grapes without any additions (no sulfur, no yeast, no acids).  We let the wine age in old, large format french oak cooperage, without racking, until bottling.  We add a minimal amount of sulfites at bottling, no more than 20ppm.

This vintage is slightly more restrained than the 2012, but no less friendly.  It has an expressive nose, spicy fruit flavors (particularly plum right now), nice acidity and a long, open finish.  In a word – delicious!

123 cases made.  Screwtop closure.  13.1% alcohol.

$28 per bottle

2013 Mourvedre “ambrosia”

I've been looking for another mourvedre vineyard to work with for a couple of years now.  It's been difficult to find the right combination of soil and plant that seems to express itself in an interesting way.  This vineyard, the Ambrosia Vineyard outside of Swansboro (El Dorado County), seems to fit the bill.

Quite isolated, these vines sit on similar soils to our Josephine + Mariposa vineyard – yellow slate underneath a brown loam.  The vines are bush trained. 

The wine shows a completely different side of the mourvedre spectrum when compared to our Cedarville bottling.  Fermented in the exact same way as the Cedarville, the vineyard differences really shine.  Where the Cedarville is light and quite feminine in nature, the Ambrosia is darker, masculine and muscular.  It shows a classic mourvedre nose – earthy and brambly.  It is broad and structured, with a long, minerally finish.

Where the Cedarville reminds me sometimes of the Jura, at least in spirit, this Ambrosia bottling reminds me of Bandol.

52 cases made.  Screwcap closure.  14.4% alcohol.

$28 per bottle.

2013 Jambalaia Rouge

In 2012 we experimented with blending red and white grapes together, seeking to create a wine lighter in style and friendlier for the warmer months.  We called this experiment “Jambalaia”. Jambalaia, the occitan word from which the more known Creole/Cajun word “jambalaya” is derived, means a mish-mash or a mixture of diverse elements.  This year, we developed the idea more fully.  The result is an upfront, juicy, food-friendly, chillable and gulpable red wine.

The blending of white and red grapes is not a new concept, of course.  Many of the world's most famous wines (Cote Rotie or Chianti, for example) can be red/white blends.  The idea seems to have fallen out of favor, though.  Maybe it is seen as less “pure” to many, although I would argue that Cote Rotie, for instance, has lost much of its classic, ethereal aroma since the use of viognier as a blending/co-fermenting grape has declined.

In our case, I wanted to experiment with the idea of fermenting an entire vineyard (or at least a proportional, representational fraction thereof ) into a single wine.  This was our initial impetus for our Home Vineyard; five different varieties, all fermented together if possible, but one resulting wine.

We've come close to this idea elsewhere.  Our nebbiolo-based blend, Piedi Grandi, happens to be made from 3 different grapes (in most years) from a single vineyard.  The Josephine + Mariposa, a grenache/mourvedre blend, is also from a single vineyard site.  (There are some grenache blanc vines out there, too, at the J+M site, so maybe some of that will sneak into future vintages and complete the circle.  One can hope...)

I am also interested in drinkability.  Sometimes, you want and need a lighter red for summer grilling, for hotter days, or just plain sitting on the deck and watching the sun go down.  I think our reds (and whites, too) are fun and interesting to drink young (and reward a bit of patience in the cellar with additional complexity), but they are also, because of where we are, sometimes a bit larger structured.  Sleeker wines are called for in the summer.

One answer has always been to drink rosé.  Or Pet Nat.  Or beer.  But red wines should have a place in summer, too.  Hence the desire to make this Jambalaia.

As of last year's harvest, I hadn't found the right site to make a single vineyard red/white/whole-monty type of wine, so this version, the 2013, is comprised of 30% syrah, 28% mourvedre, 23% marsanne and 19% grenache noir from several well-known sites around my area.  The grenache and syrah are from the Fenaughty Vineyard.  The marsanne hails from Sumu Kaw, and the mourvedre comes from the Sumu Kaw, Swansburough, and Ambrosia vineyards.  A truly pan-county wine with pedigree!

We aimed to pick for freshness. We fermented everything with ambient yeasts and whole clusters, and pressed the wine off early to avoid harder tannins.  The wine was aged in tank and large (600 liter) barrels.  It was bottled 8 months later, unfiltered.

The result is really fun.  Open fruit aromas with a touch of garrigue lead to juicy, fresh plum flavors, very lively, with a nice balance of texture, fine tannin, acidity, and minerality.  One taster commented that it reminded him of a lighter, more approachable Josephine + Mariposa.  I'd say that was just about right.  Definitely something of a classic Cote du Rhone about it.

Drink this wine now and through the next several years, preferably with a slight chill.  About 30-40 minutes in the fridge ought to do it. 

270 cases made.  Screwtop closure. 12.8% alcohol. 

$20 per 750ml bottle. A 20% discount will be applied on purchases of 12 bottles or more.  Applicable sales tax and shipping costs not included in the price.

We also have bottled a small quantity of this wine in magnums (1.5l).  Perfect for larger get-togethers, hanging out in the backyard, gift giving, extended drinking sessions...

108 magnum bottles made.  Cork finish.

$45 per 1.5 liter bottle. Net price.  Maximum 2 per customer please! This item will ship separately. Applicable sales tax and shipping costs not included in the price.

Buy Magnum Now


You may be able to find our wines at the following locations in California:

Domaine L.A., Arlequin Wine Merchant, Buzz Wine & Beer, Alma, Vintage Berkeley, Sotto, Canyon Market, Chez Panisse, Local Mission Eatery, Rainbow Grocery, Vineyard Gate, Passionfish, Mission Cheese, Salt’s Cure, Hidden Vine, The Wine House, Bar Covell, Bi-Rite Market, K&L Wine Merchants, Papilles, Gorbals, Jonathan Downtown Club, The Wine Lab, Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, Barbacco, Fundamental LA, Gitane...

More are being added all the time...

Retailers: Please contact one of our distribution partners!

CA: Cleanskins Wine LLC / Amy Atwood


NY: David Bowler Wine


MA: Olmstead Wine Co.


NC: {proof} wine & spirits

Cream Wine Company

(c) 2014 La Clarine Farm


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