We are in the middle of what is turning out to be a terrific harvest. We’re very excited to be adding a Rosé to our line up of wines this year. We’ve been kicking around the idea of a Rosé pretty much since we started Lois Rae but we wanted to do something unique and interesting; something a little off the beaten path.
Well this year, while working with some of our grape sources we had the opportunity to purchase a small block of Touriga Nacional. When I say small, I’m talking 3/4 of a ton or what will be about 40 cases. For those who may not be familiar with this grape, it is Portuguese in origin and is one of the primary grapes in the making of port. Typical flavors and aromas are violets, blueberry, blackberry, plum, and vanilla.
The grapes came into the winery and after a gentle foot tread and some skin contact we pressed it off where it is gently fermenting at 55°F. We anticipate the fermentation finishing in a couple of weeks. It will go into neutral French oak barrels, and we will bottle at the beginning of next year. Did I mention we are very excited about this wine and look forward to sharing it and making it available next spring.
We’ve also brought in the Viognier this week. As has become our custom, we treat the Viognier very gently. Following a whole cluster press, it is currently on lees and fermenting slowly at 55F. One of the best qualities of Viognier is it’s unique nose of honey, stone fruit, sometimes moving into tropical fruit and we do everything we can to preserve that. We never add oak or allow the wine to finish Malolactic fermentation. Our style is crisp with nothing to cover up that wonderful nose.
The Grenache is typically next to come into the winery and that should be around the middle of September and our cool climate Carneros Syrah from Las Madres Vineyard is usually picked in October. Having walked the vineyards, the feeling from everyone involved is it should be a great harvest and you can feel the excitement at the winery.