ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley

• COMPOSITION: 100% Gewürztraminer, Estate Grown
• BOTTLED: January 2007
• pH: 3.50
• TA: 0.59g / 100 ml
• ALCOHOL: 11.5%
• RESIDUAL SUGAR: 12.4%
• PRODUCTION: 776 cases


Vintage

Warm summer days, cool nights and the occasional summer thunderstorm were the hallmarks of the 2007 vintage. A harvest that had started sunny and warm turned cool and overcast just in time for the picking of the Merlot. Harvesting of the ’07 Merlot began on the 15th of October. The warmer weather earlier in harvest allowed for sugar development while the overcast, cooler days gave the grapes plenty of hang time for physiological ripeness.

During this period daytime highs reached 64F with nighttime temperatures in the low 40’s. On the 19th of October we stopped picking leaving several smaller parcels untouched. On the 2nd of November we returned our attention to the Merlot harvest for a final pick on the 6th of November.


Winemaking

Harvesting of the 2007 Merlot was divided into multiple picks in the vineyard. This provided a variety of fruit flavors that could not have been achieved otherwise. The fruit was de-stemmed and pumped to open top tanks. Here the fruit cold soaked at 50F for 24-48 hours. The fruit was then inoculated with yeast and fermentation commenced. In addition to our standard punch-down method of cap management we also incorporated a technique called “drain and return”.

Once per day the entire volume of wine was separated from the skins and pumped to another tank. This separation of skin and wine was then allowed to sit apart for up to 2 hours. The entire volume of wine would then be pumped back over the top of the tank flooding the cap for a gentle yet thorough extraction. After pressing the wines were aged in a mix of French and American Oak barrels for 9 months. Prior to bottling 2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Syrah were blended in. The Cabernet added length to the overall finish and the Syrah elevated the already amazing Merlot fruit characters.


Winemaker Comments

As the wine is swirled in the glass, aromas of cedar, raspberry and blackberry, cinnamon and leather rise to caress the nose. The palate is rewarded with ripe, red fruit dusted with cocoa powder and cinnamon. The mid-palate is generous, yet focused fruit, leading to lingering fine grain tannins. Enjoy this wine with a New York Strip steak with Merlot sauce and bleu cheese!