2016 Bouchaine Las Brisas Vineyard Riesling
Riesling is among the rarest of grape varieties planted in Carneros. We purchased a scant 1-acre block in the Las Brisas Vineyard which lies on a gentle, west-facing slope in the heart of Carneros. Much like our Estate vineyard, the Las Brisas vineyard is situated adjacent to the San Pablo Bay and is often covered in fog until noon or later when the cool breeze blows in from the Pacific Ocean. Carneros is among the most suitable sites in all of California for this noble variety that originated on the frigid slopes of the German river valleys.
2016 delivered a small but exceptional harvest. It was one of the earliest harvests on record, starting with an early bud break and slowly progressing through bloom. Rainy, cool weather during bloom naturally reduced our crop level, leaving concentrated clusters. A cool, foggy summer allowed for slow ripening, high acidity, and superb flavor development. With no heat spikes or rush to pick, it was a smooth harvest of top quality fruit.
A small amount of Botrytis Cinerea, known as noble rot, helped intensify the aromatic sweetness of this Riesling fruit as we delayed harvest waiting for full flavors to develop. Traditional German Kabinett style wines provide our inspiration. The grapes are whole cluster pressed into a stainless steel tank then fermented cold to capture the gorgeous aromatics. We further chill down the wine to arrest the fermentation with a touch of sweetness remaining to balance the zingy, lip smacking acidity.
This wine is the liquid version of a walk through a Carneros vineyard in Spring. Bursting with aromas of white flowers, fresh peach and tangy apple notes. With time in the glass, the nose opens to beeswax, lavender and honey. The tangy complex palate shows bright acidity, drawing out flavors of lemongrass and Asian pear with a long graceful finish. Grab a glass and stroll through the vineyard!