One of the things that makes California’s wine scene so inspiring is the freedom that so many young wine-makers have to embark on their own projects. When Chicago native Scott Schultz decided to branch out on his own after working for various superstar winemakers in Napa and Sonoma, he did it with the full backing and confidence of his mentor at Wind Gap, Pax Mahle.
Scott continues to work alongside Pax, but his Jolie-Laide label has already turned enough heads to suggest that the wines will go on to become some of the most sought-after in the state, it was Scott’s take on Trousseau Gris that put him on the map initially, but his work with Gamay, Syrah, Grenache and most recently Melon, Pinot Gris and Valdiguie that have put him firmly at the front of the alt-California winemaking scene, unconventional grapes, hunting for great but unheralded vineyard sites, always making the wines in a way that lets the fruit and vineyard fully express themselves.
Native yeast whole cluster fermentations, carbonic maceration, neutral wood, concrete eggs, skin contact and foot treading are all expressions that you hear across the range. The wines balance pure expressive fruit, tension, complexity and concentration in a way that it is no surprise Scott is being heralded as one of California’s most exciting wine-makers. The wines are made in small quantities and are in huge demand, so it goes without saying that any opportunity to purchase the wines should not be missed.