Sometimes, something as simple as having successfully bottled wine is a greatly rewarding relief. The process is pretty tedious and exacting, so it represents its own level of intensity. Like working in a restaurant kitchen where “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” bottling must be done in a very clean environment and with utter attention to detail.
I’m happy to announce that over the past two weeks, we bottled the new 2009 vintage wines, including Tempranillo, ‘Tres Vinos’ and ‘Fuego Sagrado.’ All are now quietly resting at a cool 55 degrees, regaining their composure and awaiting their time to debut on the stage of the Washington wine world.
A new addition to the line-up is the beautiful Galacian grape, Albarino, which hails from a tiny appellation in Northwestern Spain called Rias Baixas. I think I have a personal affinity for the place, as long ago, Celts from Scotland and Ireland immigrated there, bringing their kilts and bagpipes. The climate is quite cool, similar to Scotland, and not unsimilar to our Puget Sound. It’s a lush, green place with a beautiful Atlantic coastline, and with a climate that greatly enhances the aromatic qualities of wines, particularly those of the white grapes.
We didn’t have very much Albarino to work with, just about a ton. So we had to barrel ferment rather than in stainless steel. As expected, the barrel fermentation gave a more supple and textured wine with a somewhat higher pH and lower acidity than its typical Spanish counterparts. Customarily, the grape is renowned for its bracing acidity, somewhat like our McCrea Cellars Picpoul. But we’re awfully happy with the results, as the aroma is huge and redolent of pineapple, pear and white peach. I believe it’s the most powerfully aromatic white wine I’ve ever made.
So this weekend brings a good feeling of accomplishment, and yet with reflection of those brave hearts who have served our Country, and of those who lost their lives in defending our freedom. Let’s lift a toast to all of them with a glass of wonderful Washington State wine and a deeply felt “Thank You.”