The cellar is pretty quiet right now, and cold, too. At this time, we’re monitoring malolactic fermentation in many of the barrels. Malolactic fermentation is a process during which tart-tasting malic acid (which occurs naturally in the grapes) is converted to milder-tasting lactic acid. It’s a slow process, currently, because of the cold temperatures, but that’s okay. When temperatures are cold, there’s little opportunity for microbial effects to take hold, so there is a benefit to the current weather.
We have lots of bottling planned for early March. We will bottle our 2017 Pinot Noir, 2017 Sidecar – Off The Wagon, 2017 LÜK Gamay Noir, and a 2017 LÜK Petite Sirah. I am especially excited about the Petite Sirah. This is a new wine for us; it’s very different than what people expect from us, stylistically.
Why Petite Sirah?
This is a very different wine grape than the others with which we’ve worked. It’s deep, dark, sensuous, and full-bodied. It’s a variety I’ve always found quite interesting. It is big and bold, and that’s what it’s known for, but I do believe it can have an existence outside of that, with more dimension.
This project came about because I connected with a new Rogue Valley vineyard, in Oregon. It had recently acquired land, which had been planted with Petite Sirah 15-20 years ago. It’s a small lot of Petite Sirah, so I jumped at the opportunity. Additionally, I connected with Crater View Vineyard, also in the Rogue Valley, in order to source some Petite Sirah to use for a single-vineyard bottling. Crater View also grows Roussanne, so I co-fermented a small lot into the Petite Sirah. This is a classical red-wine technique that uses the white wine grapes to give more aromatics and to lighten the tannic tone a little. This is the additional dimension I spoke about earlier.
I hope others find excitement in this new offering – we don’t have much longer to wait.