Wines and Ciders
The idea behind this was to make a refreshing and even as far as a hydrating cider-bone dry. We had a field blend of apples grown on the Western Slope. Talbots Cider Co was beyond instrumental in allowing our using their press and we couldn’t have imagined a more neighborly relationship. Chris’ Ciders are kick ass too, get out there and try them. We pressed on December 28th sans any sweating of the apples as to pull back potential alcohol. Funny as it was the most nutritious media of all the fermentations this year the fermentation did not budge after a week. The Chenin, being the bucolic and leisure fermentation it was, had quite the attractive yeast make up. So, we racked off a couple cups of lees and poured it in the cider. Fermentation kicked off a couple days later. After 6 weeks we went dry, racked it off the heavy sediment and started our carbonation trials and arrived at 7.1%ABV. What we noticed was at higher carbonation levels (beyond 2 volumes) there was a loss of both delicate esters and hydrating qualities. So we went after a Spanish style cider being lightly carbonated complimented by clean aromatics remaining unfiltered and quite cloudy.
2016 Whitewater Syrah
Feminine, delicate and resonating the '16 Syrah is complimented by blue gramma grass, fig, brambleberry and dark timber forest floor aromatics. The evolution of this wine in tank, barrel, and bottle, has been reticent rather than rambunctious.
Stylistically, hampering potential alcohol and maintaining a lower pH are consistent mantras at the forefront of our picking decisions. With that in mind our Whitewater vineyard did not achieve adequate levels of lignified rachis to provide the impetus in using stems during fermentation; it found a life burnished by the sun while remaining turgid and healthy. We harvested on September 20th and the native yeast kicked their fermentation off after three days. A combination of punch downs and pumpovers managed our fermentation with temperatures not exceeding 84°F. The bouquet during fermentation was supremely unique and pure: laden with intoxicating aromatics ubiquitous with dark floralities. While highly anomalous, this felicitous kingdom of figs and roses during fermentation was entirely welcomed and certainly carried over into elevage. It rested in oak for 13 months 30% being new and 70% being neutral with only one racking interrupting its slumber.
2016 Hoodoo Vineyard Chenin Blanc
On the palate the wine offers persimmon, marzipan and Elberta Peach only to be cut with the firm acidity lent from our nights borrowing cool air drainage. Secondary notes of wet slate, Chamomile and dried hay, layer this wine to fully showcase its granular strength.
The Hoodoo vineyard, sitting at the mouth of De Beque Canyon, is blanketed with cool winds at night draining from the headwaters of the Colorado River Basin. This atmospheric condition fostered superb acidity in 16’. The Chenin was picked on September 6th with haste as temperatures at the end of the season remained quite efficient during the final flush of ripening. The stems had a sweet grassy taste with minimal bitter tannins promoting whole cluster press with native yeast shepherding the ferment in Stainless Steel at a temperature range of 50-55°F over the course of 67 days. Malolactic Fermentation coincided with alcoholic fermentation pushed by indigenous bacteria as well. Untamed, wild and hardly civilized; beauty living a bucolic life. Elevage consisted of 10 months in French oak barrels, 20% being new and 80% being neutral, accompanied with three additions of sulfur. These sulfur additions were done once the wine finished fermentation, halfway through its elevage, and at blending. These seemingly perfunctory additions were executed with careful deliberation as we better understand our vineyards, cellar, and individual barrels while we shift towards wines unadulterated by sulfur.