These remain some of the most unique, compelling wines being made in Sonoma today. I can't recommend them highly enough.
- Antonio Galloni

Jolie-Laide started out as a one-man operation based in Sebastopol, California. In his first vintage, Scott Schultz made 500 cases of wine and has slowly ramped that up to about 3000 cases. Today, it is a family affair with his wife Jenny Schultz also behind the helm. One of the things that makes California’s wine scene so inspiring is the freedom that so many young winemakers have to embark on their own projects. Of course, not all of these prove to be a success, but Jolie Laide did so with the full backing and confidence of Pax Mahle (one of the state’s star winemakers and owner of the Wind Gap label).

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, electrifying the palates of those lucky enough to try them. Production is microscopic and collectors and sommeliers are falling over themselves to get an allocation. The tension, complexity and concentration of the wines is such, that it is no surprise Scott is being heralded as one of California’s most exciting winemakers.

The winemaking style at Jolie Laide is simple: grapes are left whole cluster, foot crushed, and aged in neutral oak. All ferments are done with native yeasts and the grape musts tend to be higher acid, allowing for no added SO2 at the press, and minimal at bottling. They work with a handful of growers, all of whom farm organically and sustainably. Scott and Jenny's ability to seek out spectacular vineyard sites which allows them to be hands off in the winemaking process.

Gamay, Syrah, Melon de Bourgogne, Pinot Gris, Trousseau Gris, Valdiguie

"Jolie-Laide is one of the most exciting new projects I have come across in some time. Proprietor Scott Schultz cut his teeth as a sommelier at Bouchon, in Yountville. That led to a cellar job at Realm and then to Pax Mahle's Wind Gap, where he is an Assistant Winemaker. Jolie-Laide is a loose translation of the French 'unconventionally beautiful' but that doesn't really apply here, as the wines are gorgeous by any measure. At many times throughout this tasting I was reminded of the young Champagnes of Cedric Bouchard - these wines have a very similar sense of crystalline purity. The wines are made with a high percentage of whole clusters, generally crushed by foot and largely aged in neutral oak. Production is tiny. Readers who can find these wines should not hesitate, as they are nothing short of magnificent." - Antonio Galloni


Our selection of wines from Jolie-Laide