Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Details of Our Fall Release

Here are the details of our Fall Release. Stefania has spent the day stuffing letters and they went out in the mail today.

2008 Stefania Chardonnay Chaine d’Or Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains

Price: $24 per bottle. Total Production 72 cases.

This is our first effort from the Chaine d Or vineyard since taking it over in the summer of 2007. In 2008 we severely pruned back the old vines in an effort to lower the spurs on each plant which had gotten very high in the past 20 years. This contributed to one of the lowest yields the vineyard has ever seen with just less than one ton per acre harvested on September 20th 2008.

The wine was immediately pressed and allowed to settle for 24 hours before being pumped into a chilled tank to start fermentation. Fermentation was on all native yeast and when the wine reached 16 BRIX it was inoculated with Malolactic starter and transferred to a combination of Sequin Moreau and Claude Gillet French oak barrels to complete fermentation. The lees were stirred every week and the wine completed both fermentations before Christmas. Stirring of the lees was then done every 3 weeks. The wine was bottled early, in May of 2009, as has been the tradition at Chaine d’Or to preserve its fresh fruit flavors.

The finished wine is bright and crystal clear with a light golden hue. The nose is rich with peach and stone fruit notes. There are hints of the citrus fruit notes of lemon and lime that are typical of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the wine is broad but refreshing. The oak notes are moderate and reflect the care we take in selecting our coopers. I suspect you will think we used a much lower percentage of new oak than we did as the effect is so well integrated.

Serve this wine just below cellar temperature at 48-50 degrees. We are releasing it in October so that it will be available when Dungeness Crab season starts in early November.

2007 Stefania Cabernet Sauvignon Uvas Creek Vineyard Santa Clara Valley

Price: $38 per bottle. Total production 115 cases.

This is our third wine from this vineyard in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The grapes were harvested on October 29th 2007. Starting in 2007 Bill Holt of Uvas Creek began to only allow women to work in his vineyard. “They are gentler with the grapes”, was his reasoning. We 100% destemmed the clusters but did not crush the berries. Fermentation was on native yeast and we had to foot tread the must daily until the berries began to break up about 15 BRIX. The wine was raised in 60% new Sequin Moreau French Oak.

The wine is deep red with a pronounced nose of summer cherries and dark berry fruit. On the palate, there are powerful notes of ripe berries, spices and cherry fruit. The fruit is layered and complex with a classic Cabernet Sauvignon profile. This is a more serious and masculine Uvas Creek than the 05 and 06, but still retains the balance and red fruit profile of previous versions.

2007 Stefania Haut Tubee California

Price: $20 per bottle. Total production 94 cases.

Haut Tubee (pronounced Hot Tub) was inspired by the vines planted around our hot tub. The blend includes Chaine d’Or Cabernet Sauvignon, Eaglepoint Ranch Syrah and Syrah, Grenache, Zinfandel and Mourvedre from the small vineyards we manage.

Each individual vineyard was processed on it own and the components blended in barrel. All lots were de-stemmed and allowed to ferment on native yeasts. Hand punch downs were done on all lots and fermentations lasted 14 to 22 days. The finished wine was transferred to tank before being assembled and aged in one new Hermitage barrel and 3 neutral oak barrels. The Haut Tubee program allows us to process grapes from the many micro vineyards we manage and produce a finished wine that expresses the dedication we show to these small vineyards.

The wine is deep red with a nose of spice, smoke, and ripe blackberry fruit. It is lush and soft with rich berry and summer fruit notes. The 2007 version of this wine is just over 50% Syrah and the wine shows the richness of the Syrah grape. The 25% new oak added notes of toast, smoke and rich spice. This wine should continue to develop in bottle for some time.

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