2016 Russian River Valley
Minimal sulfur is used throughout the wines aging, with final total sulfur levels around 44 ppm. Free sulfur was at about 20 ppm at bottling. This sulfur is essential to the wine and prevents a wine from becoming aldehydic as well as helping to maintain a clean wine free of bacteria and unwanted yeasts. pH at bottling was 3.65 with a TA of 6.0 and VA was 0.72 g/l. Alcohol was measured to be 14.0 alc/vol. Lots were inoculated using Melody yeast (by CH Hansen) and Assmanhausen yeast (by Lallemand). Fermentation saw maximal temperatures of 88 degrees. Malolactic fermentation was allowed to happen naturally and was complete by mid-December 2016.
White Wine Blend
The 2015 Marsanne Roussanne blend was pressed whole cluster, settled over night, then fermented in barrel. Minimal sulfur was also used. At bottling the blend had a pH of 3.63, TA 5.9, VA 0.3. and 14.6% Alc by volume. Lots were inoculated using Melody yeast. Malolactic fermentation was arrested early to maintain acidity.
2013 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc
The 2013 LH Sauvignon Blanc was harvested in early November 2013. Dry conditions throughout the growing season led to minimal mold on the fruit. Berries were dehydrated but not fully raisins at all. Sugars were around 39 degrees Brix at harvest. The long hang time allowed for really interesting flavors to develop in the grapes as it sees extended sunlight. The fruit was pressed over a period of 15 hours. The heavy press fraction was initially fermented separately, but was deemed very good and blended back with the other fraction. Fermentation was carried out in 1/3 new French oak barrels, with the remainder being once used. D21 yeast was used for fermentation and naturally fermented to an amazing 15.4% alc despite the added osmotic pressure from the high sugar levels. The wine was stirred and topped monthly for the first 10 months, then allowed to age another 5 months (still topping monthly). It was then racked and sterile filtered using a crossflow filtration system (this is done to ensure that no organisms consume the left over sugar still in the wine, which could ultimately ruin it while in bottle). It was bottled immediately following this. And there ya have it.
2015 Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon
Our first run at producing a Cabernet under the Cobden Wini label, our 2015 vintage hails from the legendary Stags Leap district of Napa Valley. Fruit was harvested in early October in 2015. Fermentation was done in T-bins with 100% whole berry. Bins were foot stomped to help release juice and get better color extraction. Following fermentation, the wine was aged in 50% new French Oak barrels from the cooper Darnajou. Malolactic was allowed to complete naturally and was finished by mid-January. The wine was racked twice during its 21 month aging before being bottled in late May of 2017. Now some numbers (at bottling): pH- 3.66, Alc- 14.9%, TA- 6.6 g/l, VA- 0.72 g/l, total sulfur- 49ppm, free sulfur- 19ppm
of the Moment
Brettanomyces bruxellensis, or Brett, is a species of yeast. For winemaking, it is typically regarded as a spoilage yeast (for some beers, however, it is the main yeast used to produce certain styles, such as that seen in Belgain lambic beers). By spoilage yeast I mean that, when not under control, it produces off-aromas that are detrimental to wine. All of this is quite a contentious debate among winemakers. Some like the characteristics it adds to a wine (typically red wines). I, however, am not a fan. You’ve probably encountered a wine with Brett spoilage: It will smell like a barnyard or horse stable. It sometimes can take on a medicinal aroma, similar to bandaids produced in the 80’s and 90’s. If you enjoy these aromatics, then good on ya. I for one don’t care for them and more so find they detract from the original aroma of the wine.
This is just one more reason why being clean is extremely important in winemaking. Brett is typically floating around somewhere, but the winemaker’s job is to make sure it doesn’t make it into the wine. This typically means sanitizing anything that comes in contact with wine while it is in barrel and generally trying to go into barrels as little as necessary. For me, Brett shows a lack of care for the wine. And yes some winemakers like a hint of it in a wine, it is very difficult to control Brett (for one it can metabolize ethanol). So to have a little Brett, is to possibly have a lot of it. I say just avoid it altogether.
So if you do love barnyard aromas in your wine, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place.
Barrel coopers used were: Rousseau and Gauthier with 50% new in the final 2016 Pinot blend. Used Taransaud barrels were used for the Marsanne blend. 50% new Darnajou barrels were used for our Cabernet Sauvignon.
Glass is produced by SAVER glass.
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Website and label designs by Clara Meinen at One Sweet Design.
Mr. Charley Johnson helps out with bottling and such. Check out his awesome wines: March Wines