07 Feb 2014 Riesling Bottling
On February 4th we bottled 103 cases of the 2014 Old Vine Riesling from Chehalem Mountain Vineyard. The vineyard is managed meticulously by George Hillberry. George also farms La Colina, La Sierra, and Beacon Hill Vineyards. These own rooted vines were planted by Dick Erath 40 years ago and unfortunately were just ripped out about 3 weeks ago due to old age. This wine is the last Riesling ever from this vineyard.
When the fruit arrived at the winery this past fall it looked gorgeous……green berries with hints of pink and gold with ripe, juicy flavors. We whole cluster pressed it and browned the juice for a few hours and then added sulfur to preserve the aromatics. The 23 brix juice was chilled and settled overnight and then racked to Acacia barrels……25% of which were brand new. We like using acacia instead of french oak on aromatic whites as it gives the wine a sneaky bit of toast without overwhelming the aromatics with barrel characters. The barrels were inoculated with yeast and left outside for a long and cool ferment that took about a month to finish. The barrels were sulfured at Thanksgiving to stop the fermentation and the wine was left on the lees with some residual sugar to balance out the acidity and to help create a rounder mouthfeel.
We racked the barrels to tank in mid January and then chilled the wine to 29 degrees for cold stability. We filtered it a few days ago and then bottled it earlier this week. This wine is incredibly complex with layers of aromas and flavors that change with every sip. I would classify it as a dry Riesling due to the sugar and acid balance. I get aromas of honeysuckle, jasmine, orange blossom, cinnamon, and peach. The flavors drift from citrus to peach with baking spices and a crisp and lingering finish. This is a very different Riesling than I think anyone has out in the market with its yellowish color from the new wood and the elegant mix of aromas, flavors, and textures. We are very excited to release this wine very soon in the early spring…..here is the technical data:
WildAire 2014 Old Vine Riesling
Chehalem Mountain Vineyard
Chehalem Mountains AVA
Free SO2 at bottling=19ppm
New French Acacia wood=25% and a light toast level.
Time in barrel was 4 months.
total production was 103 cases.