Minimal sulfur is used throughout the wines aging, with final total sulfur levels around 52 ppm. Free sulfur was at about 25 ppm at bottling. This sulfur is essential to the wine and prevents a wine from becoming aldehydic as well as helping to maintain a clean wine free of bacteria and unwanted yeasts. pH at bottling was 3.69 with a TA of 5.3 g/L and VA was 0.46 g/L. Alcohol was measured to be 13.8 alc/vol. Lots were inoculated using Melody yeast (by CH Hansen) and Assmanhausen yeast (by Lallemand). Fermentation saw maximal temperatures of 85 degrees. Malolactic fermentation was allowed to happen naturally and was complete by mid-December 2019. It was aged sur lie for 16 months in 40% new French Oak using Gauthier and Rousseau barrels.
Sourced from the Dalton Vineyard in Calaveras County, the 2019 Marsanne - Roussanne field blend was pressed whole cluster, settled over night, then fermented in neutral barrels. Minimal sulfur was also used. At bottling the blend had a pH of 3.49, TA of 6.2 g/L, VA of 0.30 g/L, free SO2 of 24 ppm, total SO2 62 ppm and 14.0% alc. by volume. Lots were inoculated using Melody yeast. Malolactic fermentation was arrested early to maintain acidity.
Our second cabernet from the historic Oakville vineyard, the 2018 Old Federal Vineyard was another great cabernet from the property. Fruit was harvested in late September and finished fermentation smoothly. Fermentation was down in stainless tanks with 100% whole berry. Light pumpovers were conducted twice daily. Following fermentation, the wine was aged in 50% new French Oak barrels from the coopers Gamba, Sylvain, and Darnajou. Malolactic was allowed to complete naturally and was finished by the 2nd of January. The wine was racked twice during its 22 month aging before being bottled in late May of 2020. Now some numbers (at bottling): pH- 3.54, Alc- 14.8%, TA- 5.9 g/l, VA- 0.47 g/l, total sulfur- 45ppm, free sulfur- 25ppm.
Our 2021 Rosé of Pinot Noir was made in the traditional method, taking whole clusters of Pinot Noir and lightly pressing them to release the juice. The juice was allowed to settle overnight in tank, then racked to neutral barrels for fermentation. QA23 yeast was used for inoculation. No additions were made to the juice or wine. Little to no malolactic fermentation occurred. The wine was aged for 7 months sur lie before being filtered and bottled. At bottling the chemical makeup was the following: pH – 3.24, TA – 6.8g/L, VA – 0.24 g/L, Free SO2 – 24 ppm, Total SO2 – 42 ppm.
Let's talk about barrels. They can do so much for a wine; They allow for slow oxygen exchange that changes the chemistry of the wine in many ways (often improving the wine). They can impact beneficial aromatics (secondary and tertiary notes, often). They can also help the structure of a wine by adding wood tannins. All this being said , though, it is very important to match the barrel with the wine; not all barrels are created equal. What works with a Pinot noir may not work with a Cabernet. Also, not all coopers are created equal (coopers are those that manufacture barrels). Then there's species of oak, American vs. French. We use strictly French oak because it integrates with the wine better and adds aromatics that don't overpower the wine. For me, American oak can be overpowering and harsh. Through years of trials and tastings, I've found that some barrels don't impact great aromatics or may not integrate with the wine. This is why it's very important to know what works with a specific wine. The goal of the barrel is to add background notes and structure to the wine; not be at the forefront. We pick barrels that integrate with the wine and add complexity without coming off as woody or over oaky.
Barrels used include Gauthier, Darnajou, Rousseau, Taransaud, Gamba, Sylvain, and St. Martin
Glass is supplied by Saxco Glass
Labels printed by Tryst Labels
Corks are supplied by M.A. Silva
Label designs by Clara Meinen at One Sweet Design.
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