ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley
• COMPOSITION: 100% Gewürztraminer
• pH: 3.88
• TA: 7.95g /L
• ALCOHOL: 11.2%
• BRIX AT HARVEST: 47.1°B
• RS: 27.8%
• BOTTLED: September 20, 2013
• PRODUCTION: 76 cases
Our 2012 vintage endured a roller coaster of changing weather. With no hint of the pandemonium to come, spring began on time with normal temperatures. This quickly gave way to unusual temperature fluctuations, with a brief heat wave in April, followed by a downward temperature spike and unsettled weather. Once again in May the heat returned, only to again quickly give way to cold and rain. As summer began, our June was cold and damp while July brought humidity and thunderstorms. Lightning-caused fires created an enduring smoky haze which blew continually across the Columbia valley. In August the sticky heat turned to dry and we reached triple-figures a few days. September brought only slight relief to the heat. With no end to the odd weather pattern we harvested our 2012 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer in early January.
We crafted our 2012 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer as if the grapes were frozen on the vine. Hanging the fruit on the vine significantly longer than is our norm, we increased both the flavor intensity and sugar concentration of the grapes. After picking into small totes to preserve integrity we stored the grapes at 5°F for just over five weeks, ensuring the grapes froze solid. After transferring the rock hard marbles to our press we started the three-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 September 20th, 2013.
If one could take fresh blossoms from an orange tree and magically transform them from flower to golden nectar while maintaining aroma, then adding a touch of dried apricot for character, you might come close to the smells and tastes of our 2012 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer. Enjoy!