We feel we have a singular opportunity to make opulent, intriguing Roussanne. Our southern location near 34 degrees latitude gives the Roussanne grapes intense solar radiation to tan the fruit their namesake “Rousse” or Rust color. Limestone soils and pacific-influenced cold nights combine to maintain acidity late in the year. Low humidity and high winds keep the grapes clear of mold and for better or worse, we never get significant rainfall through harvest. We can “wait out” the late-ripening grape until it is perfectly golden and concentrated. La Cuadrilla takes every possible effort in the vineyard to optimize the potential of our Roussanne fruit. In the late summer, we pull every leaf away from the fruit to allow for full sun penetration. Then, about a month prior to harvest, when the sun-exposed side of each cluster tans, but the inside remains green, every grape cluster is gently hand-rotated 180 degrees to facilitate an even sun-tan. We could not make L’Avion without the focus and determination of our full-time crew, La Cuadrilla. Wine destined for L’Avion must go through three cuts. First, only the two older blocks of Roussanne are eligible for L’Avion. Then, only the prettiest, evenly “Rousse” - or sun tanned - clusters are selected by Cuadrilla. At last, we include only our favorite barrels for L’Avion. At the end of the day, L’Avion accounts for 25-33% of our total Roussanne production each year. In the late 1930s, teenage cattle rancher Anchor Johnson and his buddies landed their rickety plane down the straight chute where Roussanne is now planted. The young men would park the plane under the oak tree at the end of the dirt strip. Roussanne rows now run lengthwise along the old runway, creating the inspiration for the lanes on the L’Avion label.
2019 marked the second vintage in a row without harvest-time heat spikes. Facial expressions among the team conveyed our shared thoughts and feelings without saying a word – a certain giddiness that we had a shot at replaying 2018 armed with that year of heat-free experience. And, the acids were hanging even higher and fresher than 2018. The late ripening Roussanne vines remained strong and healthy, not having to endure heat waves, allowing for even more flavor concentration than usual.
Deep yellow-gold in color with inviting depth and zest on the nose. Pineapple and an array of mango and tropical fruits ride high on this energetic vintage of L’Avion. The typical “young L’Avion” forest oak notes are present on the nose and palate and close out the lingering finish. A beautifully put together, seamless white wine that will become richer over the next 20 years. Left to breathe upon release without further chilling, the tropical fruit unfurls over the wood backbone to become the voluptuous golden nectar we all adore vintage after vintage from L’Avion.