Barrel fermented, rich, round, beautifully balanced
We had hand picked the rows we had selected September 20th which was close to average for the vineyard. The vineyard had been primarily leafed on the north side only; so about 10-15% of the fruit was russeted with a few raisins within the clusters indicating full ripeness. This year we had again leafed both sides in 10% of the rows and in an attempt to pickup a little more caramel flavor. The pick was not early in the AM but still very cool when we got the fruit off, maybe 10 AM when the fruit got to the winery. The juice in the tank was 25.4 brix. The other fruit chemistry was also well balanced with a 3.6 pH and 0.6 TA. We had whole cluster pressed and settled the juice overnight before Claude inoculated ½ the juice with Cepage CH and ½ with CY3079 yeasts and moved to barrel for fermentation. Our barrel blend was 60% 2nd and 3rd fill American, 10% new French oak and 10% 1 year old Hungarian. The French being (Francoise Freres), the American being World Cooperage and the Hungarian Trust. All were medium toast. As usual 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, 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 on the finish lingers pleasantly. 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