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Clos Saron, Black Pearl Syrah/Cabernet, 2015


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Gideon Beinstock, winemaker at Clos Saron, says that his winemaking comes down to three decisions: when to harvest, when to press the wine off the spent grape matter, and when to bottle. It may sound simple, but it's actually a pretty keen frame for understanding his unique winemaking practices. For instance, he doesn't pick a harvest date based on complicated lab analyses (the way a commercial producer would), or the taste of the grapes and the feel of the skins, seeds and stems (the way many artisanal producers do).

No, Gideon has his own way: he does it entirely by touch. “Just like you would buy fruit at the market,” he says. When a bunch feels ripe to his fingers, he harvests it. And if the bunch beside it isn’t ready, he leaves it and comes back later. These multiple passes are time-consuming and, ultimately, very expensive. It's the kind of thing they do in Sauternes. But this means that every grape that makes it into Gideon's wine only goes in at the perfect moment.

You'd think with all that time-consuming work and care Gideon's wines would be priced as such: in the $100s, at least. But they aren't— not even his library releases. Gideon does it for a deep love of wine, to make something that he believes in. Not for dollar signs.


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