Dear Wine Club and guests,
As the year comes to an end and the holiday season is upon us, it seems an appropriate time to look back at our most recent vintage, as we are now on the other side of it, and able to look back without wine stained glasses, so to speak.
2015 offered us both challenges and benefits. Due to the drought conditions, the quantity of grapes we were able to grow decreased significantly, though luckily the quality did not. I have heard 2015 described as a winemaker’s dream, small tight clusters of grapes offering big burst of flavour, balanced natural acids and wonderful color. This was very much true for us here at Everett Ridge / Esterlina Vineyards; though some of our varietals, like Pinot Noir and Syrah were decidedly smaller in quantity, the quality was nothing short of breathe taking. Other varietals like Merlot and Riesling surprised even more, in that they surpassed our quality expectations while maintaining tonnage comparable to previous year.
The general high quality and healthiness of our grapes this vintage enabled us to act relatively hands off during grape processing, allowing us to embrace some natural winemaking methods that we, in the past, have not endeavored to try. Merlots and Syrahs were fermented partially whole cluster, allowing for the fermentation to happen inside unbroken berries, adding a decided bold fruitfulness to the wines. In a different vein, Syrahs were allowed to ferment wild with yeast indigenous to the vineyard and winery, adding a complexity to the wines not necessarily available through conventional manufactured yeast cultures.
Our 2015 Riesling was the best I have seen in my tenure here at the winery as winemaker, allowing us to ferment with minimal intervention and also try a few new fermentation techniques that will be revealed in releases to come…
Overall 2015 is offering some particularly exciting young wines that promise to excite when we are ready to release them. Stay tuned…
Isabelle A Mort
2015 Harvest Recap
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435 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, California 95448