2012 Spirithouse Riesling
Hints of peach skin, pink peppercorn and Moroccan preserved lemon linger on the long, strict finish. This wine has been built for laying down and aging. She's got an easy 20+ years in her. Be sure not to over-chill this Riesling, as its subtle nuances can easily be thwarted by an overeager ice bucket. Serve it as you would a delicate Pinot Noir, 55 degrees Fahrenheit in large, balloon glassware to really soak up the delicate aromatics. Try it with pan seared scallops with romesco... we did!
The past few vintages we have been exploring the depths of barrel fermented Riesling. Inspired by our sparkling wine program, we have been searching for the balance of pristine, fruit purity, racy acidity, and subtle, layered texture that builds with intensity over time. We're not talking about oak influence, but purely an exercise in increased yeast lees integration. The barrel becomes only a neutral vessel, therefore, we only use our oldest white barrels in the barn. In previous vintages, we have blended these barrels back to our tank fermented blocks, all the while, crossing our fingers that we could bottle a little of it all on its own. 2012 has brought us that opportunity! Fermented to a sleek dryness, the wine was allowed to build delicate depth and length over a period of 9 months on lees.
|BRIX AT HARVEST
|ALCOHOL % BY VOL.
We could say that “Mother Nature made the wines in the 2012 Vintage. Bloom and fruit-set traveled from normal to well below normal. Cold weather and some negative effects from hail drove yields generally down. But, that can be a GOOD thing as smaller clusters and good dry weather leads to ripe fruit. The key challenge to the successful farmer this year was the fact that the period of July through October was the driest since record keeping began in the late 1800’s. Potential desiccation was further exacerbated by very dry, east winds coming out of Eastern Oregon & Washington’s high desert. This wind period was the longest in memory in Argyle’s 27 years of Oregon winemaking. Vines already starved for moisture will not fare well under these late fall conditions.
For us, a balanced crop and belief in the weather forecast, caused us to give our vines a nice drink of water just before the east wind event. This allows the vines to continue to photosynthesize and for the berries to stay plump and fruity. At Argyle, we were allowed to pick fruit under lovely fall sunshine at a leisurely pace with perfectly ‘dialed-in’ maturity, excellent ripeness & fresh natural acidity.