Premier Cru Merlot 2002
Tasting Notes: Dark red brick in color. Loads of ripe fruit with hints of toffee and dark chocolate aromas. The mouth-feel is concentrated with peeks of ripe mark (skin) characters, toasty oak, layers of tannins and well balanced acidity. The structure is tight and made for longevity. The seemingly endless finish is vibrant and spicy with wonderful warmth and classic mineral nuances. Technical Info: 100% Merlot from our oldest Merlot vines (clone 3, planted in 1990) with a yield of 1.89 tons/acre. During the hand-picking, only the best fruit was kept, with any berries damaged by birds or bees discarded. The soil at Wölffer Estate is Bridgehampton Loam, which has excellent water-retaining capacity and an advantageous Ph for growing healthy vines and grapes. The three to six feet of loam and silt sits on top of sand and helps regulate steady, efficient ripening. Because of this, growth is less stressful for the shoots and berriesan important factor in the ratio between the thickness of the grape-skin and the berry size. It also helps the grapes to reach the last, crucial stages of ripening in a healthy condition. Grapes for Premier Cru come from the steepest slope in Wölffer's vineyard, insuring good drainage and water run-off as well as good air circulation. Ocean breezes protect the plants from winter kill and also provide cooling in summer, making the Hamptons the last region in New York State to get frost. This gives the grapes the long hang time (beginning of November) necessary for achieving balance of ripeness and acidity. The Wölffer team attends to every minute detail during the growing season. For example: Hedgingtrimming back excess leaves to concentrate the vine's vigor toward the fruit, not producing extra foliageis done when temperatures are low in order not to sap energy from the plant. Leaf removal in the fruit zone to expose the clusters to more sun and better air flow is only done on a cloudy day, in order not to sunburn the just-exposed fruit, and also is done 100% by hand so as not to damage any berries. Dropping fruit at veraison is done on just the right day, to channel the vine's vigor and get the maximum benefit. Spraying is not scheduled on a predetermined timetable. Rather, it is dictated by vine conditions, at the optimal time of day when the temperature is not too hot and/or when there is not the slightest residue of morning dew. Winemaking Notes: After a hot and wonderful growing season, the very ripe grapes were hand picked on October 29th. After the careful hand sorting process of further selecting only the best berries, the grapes where chilled to 47°F to cold soak for a 6 day period, followed by the fermentation with a maximum temperature of 84°F. The pumpovers are done very meticulously 3 times a day (every 8 hr) during the peak of fermentation. The extended skin contact (maceration) lasted for a total time of 30 days. The wine was then gently pressed and the press fraction was separated. It went straight into French Barrique (100% new oak) for a period of 20 month. Malolactic fermentation finished 100%. The wine was racked 6 times before being bottled unfiltered and unfined on August 4th. Only 1900 bottles of 750ml were made. We also bottled 96 bottles in 375ml and 22 Magnum bottles. Wine News gave it a 96 Rating - see "News" In the 2002 vintage - only 1,900 handcrafted bottles were made. This rich and lush wine will pair fabulously with game, steak, cheese dishes or is to be savored just on its own.
Wölffer Estate an American Winery in the Classic European Tradition. Sagaponack, New York: Here, in the heart of the Hamptons, a collection of quaint villages stretched like a string of pearls on the shores of the Atlantic, is Wölffer Estate, a winery like none other on the east end of Long Island.
Offers blackberry, black cherry and oak on the nose with gripping tannins and a mineral finish that lingers slightly. With time, more fruit will step forward on the palate.
Nose exhibits ripe but understated raspberry, cherry, cranberry and cedar aromas. Medium bodied, the palate shows nice complexity with red berry, cinnamon, black pepper, mineral and cocoa flavors — all with ripe, gently gripping tannins and understated acidity.
Food Pairings for Premier Cru Merlot
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