2014 Riesling - Wren Song Vineyard

2014 Riesling - Wren Song Vineyard


The grapes were harvested within the last few days of October with the perfect amount of sugar and acidity to make a bold dry Alsace-style wine somewhat reminiscent of dry Vendage Tardive. There was about 20% noble botrytis, which I knew would add complexity with age. This is the third dry wine I have made from this vineyard, and it is impressive. The nose is intensely fragrant with minerals, honeyed peaches and apples, and a slight smoky-flint element.   The palate is full and fat with stone fruits, Pink Lady apples and a tangy mineral-laden acidity.   The finish is long and echoes the palate.   I expect this wine to age and improve over the next five years, gaining more weight in the mid-palate along with some classic pine resin and increasing honeyed notes.

 Harvested:  October 29-31, Sugar: 22.6 %,  pH: 3.20, Total Acid: .72, Alc. 13.5%,  Only 72 cases made!

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The Vintage and Vineyard: 2014 was the vintage following the “Polar Vortex” winter, which killed many vines entirely and nearly all the fruit buds on the survivors.  This brought us one of the most meager harvests that I have ever witnessed.  The cool summer required that we hang what little crop we had late into the year.  I was able to procure a small amount of fruit from the Wren Song Vineyard situated on a northwest-facing slope at the edge of the moraine overlooking the village of Baroda.   My late friend Doug Nitz who asked me to consult on clonal selections and rootstocks for the vineyard, planted the five-acre vineyard in 2003.  We planted four clones of Riesling that would make a complete wine when blended together - clone 10 from Austria contributes body, minerality, and grapefruit flavors, while Geisenheim clone 198 adds classic apple and stone fruit, and Geisenheim 110 and Neustadt clone 90 add ripe peach, nectarine, and mandarin-orange notes.  This vineyard typically produces very fine wine, including my much sought after 2008 “December Harvest” Riesling.