THE C.R. SANDIDGE WINES
The 2014 vintage was a growing season any winemaker would be happy with. I personally rated it a solid 8.5 on a scale of 0 to 10. Grape growers were able to hang decent amounts of fruit and have the grapes fully ripen come September and October. The grape varieties Gewurztraminer and Riesling were spot on from ripeness and fruit quality standpoints. Great – classic Gewurztraminer and Riesling flavors and aromas developed during this fine growing season in the Lake Chelan AVA vineyards.
Our 2014 Sabrina was crafted using grapes from a single excellent Washington State vineyard. Namely, the Clo Chevalle Vineyard located in the Lake Chelan AVA region on said lake’s south shore. Ed Kamphus manages the Clo Chevalle vineyard. He is truly a pleasure to work with as he is totally dedicated to growing superb quality grapes. The site’s terroir is amazing for growing Germanic and Alsatian grape varieties possessing impressive depth and structure. The terroir is comprised of a north – northeast orientation on moderate slope. The soils are loamy sand and coarse sand with occasional outcroppings of rather large granite boulders. The vineyard growth is easily manipulated as it is easy to water stress. Crop levels for both varieties are a very reasonable 4 to 5 tons per acre on average.
As is customary, all fruit was handpicked into ½ ton bins. Within 2 hours of being harvested, the fruit arrived at the winery to ensure the highest quality possible. All of the grapes were sorted by hand to glean out any damaged fruit or MOG (material other than grapes) such as leaves. The whole grape clusters were loaded into the press whereby a modest 145 gallons of juice per ton were squeezed out of the berries. The fresh pressed juice from both varieties was combined in the same tank, cooled to 45 degrees Fahrenheit and allowed to settle out for three days. Once settled, the clear juice was racked to French oak barrels and inoculated with yeast. The yeast fermentation proceeded at temperatures ranging from 55 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit over a twenty-four day period. Once the yeast fermentation was complete, the barrels of wine were stirred weekly for the next seven months. The malo – lactic fermentation was permitted to occur while the wine was in barrel utilizing native ML bacteria. This wine was tightly filtered at bottling.
I am very happy with the results of co-fermenting the Gewurztraminer and Riesling. The resultant wine presents itself as a beautiful complex – medium plus bodied wine. The addition of Riesling added rich flavors and aromas of peach, green apple and slight apricot notes. As usual, the Gewurztraminer kicked in classic spice and lychee nut notes. Pair with Thai, Chinese, Japanese foods if you like. Otherwise, chicken entrees which involve being finished with Provincial herbs in cream sauces will do nicely. Chicken not on the menu? Try pan seared salmon fillets finished with a beurre blanc sauce.
|Acidity:||6.1 grams per liter|
|Residual Sugar:||4 grams per liter|