Eternal Wines Newsletter #1
Wow! What a fast and early harvest we had for 2015. We pulled in our first fruit on September 3rd this year. Each lot we brought in was small, less than two tons each. This allows me the opportunity to experiment with different winemaking techniques, and really pinpoint and maximize a final product. Some things in common for all our lots this year: a cold soak prior to primary fermentation, and an extended maceration after. But other things were different such as native yeast for certain lots and primary fermentation in puncheons for others.
Our first lot that we pulled in was the Cockburn Ranch Syrah. This vineyard in located in Milton Freewater and in the Walla Walla AVA. We fermented this completely in French Oak and let it sit on the skins for an extended maceration with native yeast. This is the only wine that is completely finished with both fermentations and been SO2 for the year. We currently have 3 barrels of this and are ecstatic about this wine!
Next we received some Merlot from Gamache Vineyard. This is the second year working with this fruit and we loved it again. The fruit itself is so clean when coming in that it makes our life a lot easier. This wine we put into 75% new French oak and again are falling in love with it.
Currently we are working on two different Cabernet Sauvignons; one from Red Mountain that we fermented in French Oak, and another from Walla Walla Valley. These Cabernets are receiving 75% new French oak as well and progressing nicely through malolactic fermentation.
I had a great time harvesting Bogin and Riordan Family vineyards this year with great friends. It is definitely a different experience when you are the one taking care of the vineyard on a weekly basis and you can see the fruit progress. I took care of the Riordan Family Vineyard, which yielded Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Syrah. My fellow WWCC classmate Maebelline Kluck took care of Bogin Vineyard that yielded Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. With each of the vineyards Eternal Wines took 100% of the fruit.
Even with the vineyards that I did not manage on a regular basis I did go and check out my rows once a month to make sure everything was looking good. This allows me a better understanding of the grapes and an opportunity to be able to better predict when we would harvest. We had contracts in place by April with all of the vineyards we received fruit from, allowing us the opportunity to have everything completely planned out and letting the harvest run smoothly.
Lastly, I would like to talk about the only active fermentation that has yet to be pressed out; our Morrison Lane block 94 old vines Syrah. I knew I needed to get fruit from this vineyard when I tasted a vertical of K Vintners Morrison Lane Syrah. The complexity and structure of the fruit coming from this vineyard is just amazing. And so far I am in love with it as well. I decided to co-ferment this Syrah with 4% Roussanne from Gamache Vineyard. This has added nice freshness and a unique nose that I wish I could share with every one of you right now!
With all the fruit in, and tasting through Eternal Wines first full harvest I couldn’t be happier! The structure and style of our wines is full bodied, age worthy wines, and I think we nailed it this year. Our first release will be in the spring with our Rose. It will be a small production as always, and there will be less than 40 cases available. Keep your eyes out for more information on when and how you can get some!
I’ll leave you with some facts about this vintage. The varietals we received are Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier. First harvest was September 3rd and our last was October 12th. My harvest beard grew 4 inches and ran nicely into “no shave” November. Thank you for reading!