Barrel fermented, rich, round, beautifully balanced
We had hand picked the rows we had selected October 7th which was once again about 2 weeks later than average for the vineyard. As the leaf cover was close to perfect (1 leaf layer over the clusters) the vineyard had only been hand combed to assure each shoot had its own spot in the sun. As a result, we had our usual 10-15% russeted fruit was with a few raisins within the clusters indicating full ripeness. The pick was just after light in the AM with virtually no moon and cool when we got the fruit off, getting to the winey at 8 AM. The juice in the tank was 24.9 brix. The other fruit chemistry was also well balanced with a 3.5 pH and 0.6 TA. We whole cluster pressed and settled the juice overnight before Claude inoculated 1/3 the juice with Cepage CH , 1/3 with CY3079 yeasts and 1/3 with QA23 and moved to barrel for fermentation. Our barrel blend was 60% 2nd and 3rd fill American, 10% 2nd fill French oak and 10% new Hungarian. The French being (Francoise Freres), the American being World Cooperage and the Hungarian Trust. All were medium toast. Per out usual practice, the wine was in barrel Sur Lie for 10 months with the lees being stirred weekly. While this is extremely laborious (and costly), we hope you find that the palate has been enriched both texturally and organoleptically (taste). The wine is 100% ML positive which also helps with the richness on the palate.
We find that the wine is as in the past, round, fleshy and succulent, has a rich entry thru finish, with tropical fruits, a hint of flint, citrus crème brulee and honey notes. The butterscotch and nut on the finish lingers pleasantly. The wine is dry with a bit of pleasant barrel sweetness. The acidity is balanced and the wine is rich enough to go with the fat of a ribeye very nicely. You can enjoy a fair amount in one sitting without feeling engorged.
Buon Giorno Mike Tatedog@ pacbell.net