The 2018 vintage was a growing season rates a solid 8.0 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. All in all, 2018 was a very good growing season.
The grapes harvested for this fine red wine blend came from a single vineyard site. All of the grapes were grown in a relative new and upcoming location. A Newcomer with incredible potential. I say this based on the fruit quality from this Chelan County site. The name of the vineyard is Native River. It is farmed by Mary and Dirk Kayser. The vineyard is situated slightly uphill along the Columbia River. The soils are sandy – sandy loam with rock outcrops here and there. It is a warm location. I am truly stoked about working with Native River fruit going forward!
Harvest: All fruit was hand-picked, sorted and destemmed – crushed into one ton fermentation bins.
Fermentation: EC118 yeast was utilized for the primary fermentation. The must was fermented for 9 to 10 days on the skins prior to pressing.
Malo-lactic Fermentation: Malo – lactic fermentation was fully completed while the wine was in barrels.
The wine was aged for 19 months in French oak (75%) and American oak (25%) barrels. The French oak forests we sourced was “Center of France”. Oak forests in Pennsylvania, Missouri and Tennessee were source for the American oak barrels.
We’re not kidding when we tell you that Ray has never produced a wine as full and rich as this Whistle Punk Vintage….and it all began in the Native River Vineyard! This extremely hot site produced dark intense berries with aromas of ripe purple plum, blackberry with some wild huckleberry notes and bramble, framed with lovely caramel influenced from 19 mons in oak barrel. The ripe tannins produced a round chalky texture balanced to a healthy amount of acid providing a solid core to structure all that ripe and rich black fruit. Anticipate the ability to cellar this wine 7-10 years. Because it is a full rich wine, we suggest equally rich smoky BBQ sauces with grilled beef, lamb, venison or even salmon. We thank-you for your friendship and support. Enjoy!!