Winemakers: Juliann Bethke, Marcassin Vineyards; Jason Fox, Locati Cellars; Josh McCarthey, Va Piano Vineyards; Alexa Morlang.
Coming from one of the most famous vineyards in Washington, Sagemoor Vineyard, this wine started with a great pedigree. The fermentation of this wine was carried out under cool conditions in a tall narrow tank to maximize aromatics. The wine was fermented dry and sweetened back using some of the original grape juice which was separated and refrigerated. This process is called Mutage, and it allows the wine to be "dialed in" resulting in a perfect sugar/acid balance.
Our Malbec has recently become a cult favorite, selling out only 2 weeks after release. This year we knew we had to go big! And we sure did with two beautiful double barrel sized puncheons. Our estate vineyard, and our viticulturists, grow great Malbec – so our winemakers made sure to keep it simple. We fermented the whole berries in stainless steel bins with twice daily punchdowns. The wine was pressed at dryness and barreled for nine months in new American Oak puncheons. We bottled after only nine months in oak to retain the elegant aromatics characteristic of the Clarke Vineyard.
*Winemakers Jacinta Jennings-Wahner, Kevin Masterman, Harmony Anderson — Class of 2012*
Story The grapes for this Chardonnay were generously do-nated by Chateau Ste. Michelle from their `Mother Block` in the Canoe Ridge Vineyard. It was love at first sight, our jaws dropped as we saw the perfectly plump, and beautifully clean fruit arrive on our crush pad. We whole-cluster pressed the grapes in our bladder press – half the juice went to new American Oak barrels and half went to neutral barrels. Bar-rel fermentation and barrel aging has given this wine creami-ness and structure.
*Gold – Tri-Cities Wine Festival, Silver – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Comp., Silver – Indy Int’l Wine Comp.* *Winemakers Kevin Steffanson, Adam Toliver, Blake Hintz, Chuck Hundley, Gary Brumfield —Class of 2012*
The 2011 vintage in the Walla Walla Valley was the coldest we’d experienced in the last decade. Many varieties struggled to ripen, and this Syrah was the ripest fruit we received that year! We co-fermented the fruit with 5% Viognier in the style of Côte-Rôtie AOC. However, the flavors of this Syrah could be considered more `new world` but slightly tempered by the cool growing season. Cooler seasons generally mean more raw and ripe fruit flavors, and this is exactly what we got. Ripe raspberry and red cherry flavors from the grape mingle with game meat and cinnamon spice flavors from the 18 month oak ageing. The bright pomegranate acidity pairs well with steak tartare and ensures ageability. Enjoy over the next decade!
*Blend: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot, 8% Carménère, 2% Malbec*
*Clarke and Gibbs Vineyards, Walla Walla Valley*
*Silver – Seattle Wine Awards, Bronze – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition*
This wine contains all six primary Bordeaux varietals, and it is every bit as rich and dense as the label would lead you to believe. The 2010 growing season was extremely long and allowed the fruit to reach remarkable maturity with moderate sugar contents. Thus, we have been able to craft an extremely full bodied wine with moderate alcohol and great acidity. This wine is rich, robust and full of ripe chocolaty tannins that have polymerized beautifully during 22 months in 75% new American oak. Enjoy now or easily through 2020.
College Cellars of Walla Walla, 500 Tausick Way, Walla Walla, WA. 99362 USA, 509-524-5170