Archive for May, 2011

2005 Three Saints Chardonnay

THE VINEYARD

Our Chardonnay vineyard is situated atop a sandy loam mesa above
the South Bank of the Santa Maria River. The ranch features a series
gently rolling hills and soils that are uncharacteristic of the growing
area. Small knolls of sand at the eastern end of Block One contribute
freshness and raciness to the wines; while hidden lenses of loamy clay
scattered towards the western edge seem to produce wines with more
power and structure.We like to think of our vineyard as a little corner
of Burgundy in Santa Maria.

Wines from our vineyard—both our own and those from producers
who purchase our fruit—show wonderful, brisk acidity and bright citrus
layered with rich hazelnut tones. Phenomenal wines for immediate
enjoyment with rich seafood dishes and even light meat courses.

THE VINTAGE

2005 was a breakthrough vintage for the Central Coast—and Santa
Barbara County in particular. Record setting winter rains—over 35
inches in Santa Maria as opposed to our more typical eleven inches—
flushed out the salt accumulated in the soil and cleansed any residual
metals and nitrogen built up from the previous drought years.
Needless to say, we started the growing season at what we call “field
capacity,” meaning that the soil profile was fully saturated with as
much water as it would hold. Mild spring conditions favored an even
bud break and warm, dry weather in the early summer— without our
typical blustery winds—allowed for an amazing set. Our Chardonnay
naturally set an admirable 3.5 tons per acre and, in two passes, we
thinned the crop to just below 3 tons per acre, which seemed to be
ideal to balance healthy vine growth.There were no remarkable hot or
cold spells and harvest proceeded in a smooth, orderly fashion yielding
good ripe flavors and remarkable acidity.

WINEMAKING

The winemaking techniques employed for our Chardonnays closely
resemble those used for centuries in Burgundy. Cold fruit is “whole
cluster” pressed and the resulting juice is settled briefly at cellar temperature.
We like to keep as many solids as possible in contact with
the juice, causing us to only remove the very heaviest of the lees—
essentially what dust from the vineyard comes into the winery on the
grapes.

The juice is transferred to barrel unsulfered and uninoculated and
allowed to begin fermentation on its own yeast. Occasionally, commercial
yeast is added to certain lots two thirds of the way through
fermentation as an insurance policy against stuck fermentations (when
the yeast is unable to convert all the sugar in the wine to alcohol). For
those lots that are allowed to finish fermentation naturally, a small
amount of yeast nutrient is added at one third of the way through fermentation.
The wine goes through malolactic fermentation on its
own, usually dragging well into the spring, and it is stirred bi-weekly.

During the winter, after 15 months in barrel, the finished wine is
racked from its lees, lightly fined with bentonite, isinglass and skim
milk and is bottled unfiltered.

THE WINE

Our Three Saints Chardonnay is characterized by its strong impression
of acidity and by a finish that lingers on the palate. Striking
papaya, grapefruit and lemon oil aromas are balanced with a creamy
hazelnut impression. On the palate the wine is all citrus: lemon rind,
lemon curd and lemon blossoms.With its bright but lushly textured
mouthfeel, the 2005Three Saints Chardonnay drinks deliciously now
and should evolve for three years in bottle.

FINISHED WINE

Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Appellation: Santa MariaValley
Alcohol: 14.1%
pH: 3.19
Total Acid: 9.2 g/L
Production: 4317 cases


2005 Hopper Creek Merlot

Estate grown, produced and bottled.
Napa Valley
Hopper Creek Vineyard

Vineyard

Hopper Creek is a six acre estate vineyard situated about one mile south of the center of Yountville and bordering on the heart of the Napa Valley.

Winemaking Notes

The grapes were destemmed into ½ ton fruit bins where they were inoculated with yeast and    punched down by hand 2-3 times daily throughout fermentation.
The wine was transferred and aged for 2 years in French oak barrels after pressing.

Tasting Notes

Aromas of  plum, crème brulee and sandalwood.  Flavors of plum, apple and cocoa,  finishing with a crisp acidity and soft powdery tannins.

Technical Analysis

Alcohol          14.1%
Harvest Sugar        25.6 Brix
Total Acid             0.623g/100ml
pH              3.52
Cases Produced     450


2006 Venue Central Coast Pinot Noir


The Venue of California’s Central Coast has proven to be the new frontier for the production of high quality Pinot Noir. The consistent warm temperatures, sunny days and the daily afternoon fog cover from the cool Pacific Ocean extend the growing season and help to develop thick skinned ripe Pinot Noir.

Production Area

Country: USA, California
Region: Central Coast

Grape Varieties

100% Pinot Noir

Production Technique

Pinot Noir is one of the most difficult wines to produce and grow in the vineyard, but this is where the wine is truly made.  The production technique is straight-forward and time proven. The grapes are partially destemmed to avoid any hint of green or herbaceous notes.  The grapes are crushed and fermented in small open top tanks and the must/grapes are punched down every 4 to 6 hours to extract color, phenolics and flavor compounds. Maturation is for 14 months in small French and American oak barrels.

Description

Color: Red Garnet ruby burgundy shades

Aroma: Sweet aromas of red cherry and Violets and herbs.

Taste: Sweet cherry berry notes and red currant with layers of ripe plum and vanilla spice from new French oak

Analysis

Alc. 13.5%

Serving Suggestions

Roasted free range chicken, ahi seared tuna, grilled salmon with garlic butter sauce or hickory smoked plank steak with a green pepper corn demi-glace.


2008 Weber Orchid Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

Weber Wine Company

Weber Wine Company focuses on producing top quality wines from family owned vineyards in California and Oregon. By paying attention to the details – thoughtful farming, careful handling of fruit, cellar sanitation, and monitoring of quality – they strive to produce interesting, enjoyable wines that capture the essence of each vineyard site.

Orchid Hill Vineyard

Located in an area known as the “Templeton Gap,” the Orchid Hill Vineyard’s perfect sun exposure, gentle slope, and rocky soils, combined with meticulous farming, ensure even ripeness and contribute to the fruit driven nature of this wine. Harvested two weeks later than Weber’s nearby Russell Family Vineyard, this wine exhibits a darker fruit profile, enhanced concentration, and richer mouthfeel.

Character

Dark ruby red, intense, and very aromatic, the wine’s rich backbone is the result of an extended cold maceration. The wine’s fruit profile is pure blackberry and blueberry, and the Radoux oak contributes cola, vanilla and spice. A slightly tannic mid-palate and finish combined with refreshing acidity make it a perfect match for beef or lamb.

Technical Data

Alcohol: 14.7%
pH: 3.71
Barrel aging: 11 months
Barrel composition: 40% new French oak, 60% once used French oak.


2008 Weber Russell Family Vineyard Pinot Noir

Weber Wine Company

Weber Wine Company focuses on producing top quality wines from family owned vineyards in California and Oregon. By paying attention to the details – thoughtful farming, careful handling of fruit, cellar sanitation, and monitoring of quality – they strive to produce interesting, enjoyable wines that capture the essence of each vineyard site.

Russell Family Vineyard

Located in an area known as the “Templeton Gap”, the Russell Family Vineyard provides two distinct growing sites in a single vineyard. The fruit is sourced from two blocks: clone 115 from a steep hillside and clone 777 from a swale at the base of the hill. These blocks historically ripen at significantly different rates and these two levels of ripeness add to the complexity of the wine.

Character

This fruit driven wine exhibits a balanced, vibrant, acidic structure and beautiful maroon color, with aromas of fresh herbs, raspberries, and black cherries. The mid-palate is dominated by fruit leading to a long finish. Opens up with time, and bright acidity keeps this lively throughout. The wine’s balance and structure make it an ideal complement to veal or grilled wild King Salmon.

Technical  Data

Alcohol: 13.2%
pH: 3.55
Barrel aging: 11 months
Barrel composition: 40% new French oak, 60% once used French oak.

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