Second up on the bottling line will be our 2017 Grenache Blanc from Southern Oregon's beautiful Applegate Valley. We are incredibly excited about this wine as it is developing and can not wait to share it with you. The fruit comes out of Eevee's Vineyard, farmed by Herb Quady of Quady North. Herb is a real leader in the Southern Oregon wine region, and we could not be happier with the fruit coming off his vineyard. He is also a talented winemaker, making great wines under his own label, and we appreciated the insight he provided on this specific lot and how it has performed in past vintages.
There is not a lot of Grenache Blanc planted in Oregon, and the few that are made annually have proven to develop an almost cult like following. An important piece of Southern Rhone blends in France, Grenache Blanc is rarely bottled on it's own outside of the U.S. Even in the U.S. it is a fairly recent occurence, although its popularity has been growing in Paso Robles and Santa Ynez/Santa Barbara areas over the last decade. These bottlings are what first peaked our interest, and certainly sent us searching to see what could be done with this variety in Oregon.
The fruit was picked on 10/02/17 and brought up to us on a refrigerated truck. It looked beautiful and had great flavors. We did a light sorting and put the fruit directly into the press. The juice was delicious with a very prominent mandarin orange note. After a day of settling the numbers came in at 19.4 brix, and a pH of 3.16. The juice went into neutral oak barrels to ferment. The fermentation went beautifully, without innoculation. It was slow and cool which allowed us to retain the delicate aromas and flavors that this wine produced. The barrel fermentation meant that we had little choice but to allow for malolactic fermentation to occur, but we are so glad that it did. The wood exposure and long secondary fermentation really rounded this rather light wine out and combined with the relatively low final alcohol content gives it a really delicious and unique texture. The final wine certainly retains beautiful acidity and tasty citrus flavors, but it hints at the richness that this grape often produces. We like to think of it as a great middle road between the clean acidity we often get from Riesling in Oregon and the beautiful unctuousness we get in Chardonnay. What excites us the most is how obviously well this wine will fit with a wide variety of food and settings. Add in that this wine was grown in LIVE certified vineyard, and produced with absolutely no additives (there will be a small sulfur addition before bottling) and we are quite proud of this wine. Unique, delicious, interesting, natural, of all our 2017's we might be the most excited about this Grenache Blanc.
We are bottling this in early March and will release it shortly after, as soon as it is ready and rested from the bottling process. Sign up for our newsletter to be notified of release, or in the meantime feel free to e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or interests.