Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Wow Whites for '07

People ask me all the time what I do in the "off" season for Edward Sellers. This presumably means Winter, the post-harvest lull that precedes bottling and everything else. The answer is, not much. I knit, watch reruns of House, M.D., get crushes on other winemakers, and this Winter, I get to blog. But I only get to do those things when I'm not finishing up stuck ferments, preparing to bottle the previous vintage, creating tasting notes, presenting blending and tasting seminars, harassing Kendall and various wine club members in the tasting room, changing headlight bulbs on the forklift, bilking Ed out of another Vic's breakfast, or deciding on blends and production numbers for the current vintage whites.

Speaking of the current vintage whites, WOW. These are our best whites yet, and I really didn't think it could get any better than last year's Blanc du Rhône. The '07s are absolutely fantastic, owing to a completely unpredictable set of weather circumstances that made harvest decisions easy. Unseasonably cold weather kept the acids high (my key to a great white) and allowed for optimal ripeness without losing zippiness, length, or minerality. These were wines that essentially made themselves. Between harvest, mostly in September for the whites, and now, all I've done is stir the lees, providing for a creamier texture and protecting the wines against oxidation without adding any chemicals to inhibit the malolactic fermentation. It's not that I want the wines to go through ML; I only want to taste and watch them develop naturally until I feel they are right for blending and bottling. And friends, they are right, right now. As of today, I've topped them and bunged them put them to sleep, knowing exactly which lots will go into which blend, and completely satisfied with what Nature has given us.

Even though the reds are harder to pin down at this early stage, the quality of the whites is exciting enough to get really fired up over the '07 vintage. Cellar Club members will get a jump on the '07s with a white and a rosé in their May 2008 shipments. You just sit there and anticipate. I'll worry about getting it into the bottle.

1 comment:

Sara Burlingame said...

I want your job. True, I know nothing about "malolactic fermantation," but I excel at both knitting and House M.D. watching. Let me know if you need an assistant.