CURRENT RELEASES


2011 CHARDONNAY ESTATE

A cool, foggy summer resulted in a harvest that was 3 weeks later than usual. This left us vulnerable to rain, which indeed came the first week in October. This can be a problem with tight-clustered grapes like Chardonnay, but the storm passed quickly, and the following winds dried things out leaving the grapes in good condition, and we picked on October 16.

Because of the long growing season the skins were slightly soft, and released more solids as they were being pressed. The juice was settled for 48 hours, then racked to our cold fermenters for two weeks, after which it was racked to French oak (30% new). The wine remained on its lies until February, which is unusual for us, but the cool summer had resulted in grapes that were higher in acid than usual and we wanted to promote an early, softening malo-lactic fermentation. After aging for ten months in oak, the wine was moved to stainless for a year, then lightly filtered and bottled.

Our vines are now nearly forty years old, and are at their peak of flavor intensity. For the old Wente clone on its own roots this means intense citrus flavors with hints of pear. The softer skins this year also yielded a more richly golden colored wine.

Price: $27/bottle; $292/case (includes 10% discount)

2010 CABERNET SAUVIGNON ESTATE BLEND

It seemed like Indian summer might skip us this year as the weather cooled until early September. But then the off-shore winds made their appearance and by the middle of October the Cabernet was just shy of 25 ° brix with good acidity. The grapes, even the Merlot, were small, which meant the high ratio of skin to pulp was high, which produced a deeply colored, full-bodied wine. As always, our small amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc were picked separately, and the final blend was determined by the intensity of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Fermentation, on native and Assmanhausen yeast, lasted two weeks, with the cap punched down by hand eight times a day. The wine was then aged for 18 months in ultra-tight grain French chateau barrels (30% new), followed by 18 months in stainless before bottling. The final percentages in the finished blend were: Cabernet Sauvignon, 85%; Merlot, 12%; Franc, 3%. The wine was neither fined nor filtered and with age – after six or seven years – it will throw a deposit and may need decanting.

Price: $27/bottle; $292/case (includes 10% discount)

Wine can be shipped via FedEx.

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