Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Photos courtesy of Megan Jones Photography
If you read the last Soil Spectator you'll know that we are almost sold out of all of our 2008 whites. We have five or six cases of Riesling left and that's it.
Michael's polishing up the '09 Viognier now for release in January. It's definitely cold-stable outside and it's lucky the wine didn't freeze solid, or we would have a really large Viognier Popsicle.
The Pinot Gris is our last white holdout. About 3/4 of it is from Illahe this year. It got a little higher in sugar and so it's going to have a bit more alcohol than before. Because of this, the Gris is taking its time, finishing up fermentation very slowly, but it's almost dry! As we warm it up a bit to keep it moving, we are getting a noseful of what we're going to have from fruit at this site-peach, pear, marzipan, honeysuckle--probably. We'll wait until it's finished and polished for a final nose. This is the same wine that was so excited to start it foamed over the top of the tank during harvest...that was exciting!
It was COLD last week. Our pipes froze in the pole barn. Thanks to Scott Viner's concrete buttress protecting the winery's pipes, we didn't loose any pipes to freezing in the winery. The humidifiers are running in the barrel room day and night to keep the wine in the barrel and the heaters are keeping the malolactic bugs happy.
Michael and I did taste through a week ago to get some initial impressions on the '09flock. A person doesn't get a great idea while the wine is changing so fast, but we didn't want to wait forever to see what happened this year. One of my main ideas in
'09 was to put a bit more tannin in the wine to boost it's ageing potential. I think we did it. We didn't want to sacrifice our medium-bodied Pinot and the changes we made-using more whole cluster, warming up our tank, Bertha, and getting a little more skin extraction out of the press- won't change the wine you're used to. Some of the barrels tease the gums and hit the sides of the tongue without pricking every pore on the palate.