Spring Release April 04, 2017 08:32
With our first release sold out and harvest well behind us, it’s about time for a quick update. First off, thanks to all of you who purchased wine. The first release was two tons of fun. Secondly, we are preparing for our second release. It’s much smaller than the first but we have a couple wines we want you to experience before we get wrapped up in harvest again as we still have plenty of pre-harvest bottling to do in June and July.
What we have managed to do is bottle two of our new 2016 whites. They represent our first efforts in our new spot and we are very excited by the results. The first wine is the non-ML Sutter Ranch Chenin Blanc. It’s a wine I have made since 2009 but with a few modifications. In previous vintages I destemmed the fruit, pressed and fermented in stainless steel, then bottled in December. Although I have been happy with this wine, I have wanted to build it up a bit without picking at high sugars. So what we’ve done is pick on two different dates, foot treaded the fruit prior to pressing instead of de-stemming and also used a screw press (one built in the Loire, even….yes) instead of a bladder press. Then we fermented in three ways: tank, barrique and egg. The egg produced the best results, so, hopefully more eggs in ‘17. Then we gave the wine a bit more elevage before blocking ML. It’s actually partial ML but has great malic freshness and vibrancy. We bottled it on January 25 instead of early December. The wine exhibits a better mid-palate weight and more complex finish than previous vintages and retains the salty/savory acidity we are used to seeing from this vineyard.
The second wine we bottled is the 2016 Wirz Riesling; our second vintage. Wirz Vineyard is a great old site. It was planted to Riesling in the early 1960’s, own rooted, dry farmed, and head trained. The vines are gnarled little shrubs that produce small berried, tiny clusters. We pressed whole clusters to tank, then racked to neutral puncheon for a spontaneous fermentation in our cool cellar. Racked young and bottled young this wine is very dry; not “Riesling dry” but honest to goodness bone dry, laser sharpness.
We are releasing the 2015 Wirz Riesling as well, right beside the 2016. The ‘15 is an orange wine: foot treaded, partial fermentation on skins and stems, barrique elevage and lots of oxygen. This is the yin of the ‘16 yang; super funky for a Riesling…..so, between the two you can “get down and get back up again”!!
Look for an announcement very soon. Thanks, everyone!