ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley
• COMPOSITION: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
• pH: 3.79
• TA: 9.0g /L
• ALCOHOL: 12.3%
• BRIX AT HARVEST: 42.5B
• RS: 26.0%
• BOTTLED: July 17, 2012
• PRODUCTION: 104 cases
In 2011 the Gordon Estate saw a cold spring endure well into May, followed by an unusually cool summer where daytime temperatures rarely broke 90 degrees. As August transitioned into September we despaired that our fruit on the vines would not fully ripen. Finally the fates smiled on us as a hot spell lingered through the last two weeks of September. The sunshine and warm weather gave the fruit the energy they needed to fully ripen and release their bounty of sugars and flavors.
We crafted the 2011 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc in a style very similar to our ice wine. First, the grapes were allowed to hang on the vine a bit longer than is our norm, dehydrating slightly, increasing both the flavor intensity and the sugar concentration of the grapes. On October 13th the fruit was hand harvested into small picking totes to preserve the integrity of the fruit. The totes were stored in a cold room at 5°F for just over seven weeks, ensuring the grapes freeze solid. After transferring the rock hard marbles to our press we started the 3 day process of extracting the concentrated syrup from the grapes. During the pressing of the frozen fruit, the grapes gradually thawed. Similar to sucking the syrup out of a snow cone, the grapes gave up all of their sugar first with most of the water still being trapped in ice crystals. This concentrated grape syrup was settled overnight and transferred to barrel to begin the fermentation process. A long slow fermentation and several months of barrel age followed prior to filtration and bottling on October 17th.
Honeysuckle, apricots, peaches and fresh grapes, all the best smells of summer, fight for your attention as you take the first smell of our Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc–ironic for a wine made under such cold conditions. The taste is equally bright and fresh, with pear and pineapple taking over where the peaches left off. The wine is luscious in the mouth with a long lingering finish reminding you of warm summer days gone by, and the promise of more yet to come.