2010 was the coolest growing season we’ve seen in the Arroyo Seco in the past decade. The season allowed for adequate hang time, which enabled great flavor development with less accumulation of sugar than in typical years. Valdiguié is a very large-berried variety, requiring extra vigilance from our Greenfield vineyard team to prune to only one bud per spur and to aggressively thin any extra shoots pushing from the spur area. Otherwise, yields are too high and ripening becomes difficult for this late-maturing variety, particularly in a cool year. In our winemaking, our goal is to preserve Valdiguié’s wonderful natural acidity and fresh fruit flavors. We incorporate two different winemaking techniques to achieve this. In 2010, we handpicked roughly 19% of the fruit and put those whole clusters directly into the fermenters in a winemaking process called carbonic maceration – no yeast or pumping over of the fruit is performed. The other techniques are to gently de-stem and crush the fruit going to the fermenter, pump over and extract with fairly short, warm fermentations. These processes give the wine a remarkable similarity to the wines of Beaujolais, with enticing berry fruit flavors, a vibrant color and soft tannins. Malolactic fermentation is discouraged in order to preserve bright acidity and fruit character.
Our Valdiguié is grown on Chualar loam soil in the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County. Originally thought to be the Gamay Noir grape of France’s Beaujolais winegrowing region, U.C. Davis has since identified this grape to be Valdiguié from an area in the southwest of France. Regardless of its origin and identity, Valdiguié grown in the windy, cold Arroyo Seco produces a wine reminiscent of the “Crus” of Beaujolais - Morgon, Fleurie and Moulin-a-Vent.
|Origin:||Monterey County, CA|
|Harvest Date:||October 27-30, 2010|
|Brix at Harvest:||20.5-21.7° Brix average|
|Vinification:||Fermentation: Stainless steel fermented, 81% traditional red wine fermentation to 85°F|
|Maceration: 19% carbonic maceration (whole cluster fermented)|
|Maturation: Aged 1 month in stainless steel|
|Bottling Chemistries:||pH: 3.38|
|Total Acidity: 0.66 g/100ml|
|Alcohol: 11.70% by volume|
|Residual Sugar: 0.64%|
|Cellaring: Delicious now, but can be cellared for up to 5 years.|
This wine is vibrant and red-purple in color with bright aromas of boysenberry, Bing cherry, raspberry and pomegranate. The fruit complexion on the palate is equally bright, dominated by pomegranate and raspberry. Drink your last bottle just in time for the release of the new vintage! Serve chilled.
—Steve Peck, red winemaker