Every grape from Kestrel View Estate is tended to and intended to, be blended into our Signature Series in a First Growth Bordeaux House Mentality. This presents the perfect canvas to create and design a multiple tiered system. From the Signature Series and Winemaker's Select Series our premier fruit can then be declassified to our Falcon Series; wines made at an everyday price point. With the Winemaker's Select Series, our consumers can purchase full varietals for around forty to fifty dollars.
This fine Cabernet Sauvignon, formerly known as Two Ton Cabernet, was created by thinning one block of Cabernet Sauvignon down to two tons per acre, this equates to leaving just one cluster per shoot or about sixteen clusters per vine. Of this block we chose eight rows and conducted another experiment, in which we tied each cluster upward, so that the weight of the fruit would not bend the stem.
We made wine from each portion and then chose to blend them back together at bottling. The wines were both beautiful, with the one from the clusters that were tied upward being a little softer and more elegant.
The grapes came from Olsen Estate Vineyards, located a few miles northwest of Benton City. They are perched on a bench overlooking Corral Creek, a vast dry canyon that carves an impressive swath up into the Rattlesnake Mountains.
The vines were planted in 1994 and are tended to with the precision and care of an artist. The tiny berries were removed from their stems and placed into bins where they were punched down twice daily. After fermentation the wine was barreled down in French oak for twenty-two months before being bottled.
All the Malbec was hand harvested from our Kestrel View Estate Vineyard, and was carefully sorted. It was then destemmed and crushed into an open top fermenter, where it was punched down, twice daily to extract the maximum color and flavor. Malbec is a particularly fruity variety; typically it is the most deeply colored and intensely fruity grape variety we deal with.
It is a little difficult, because it usually has really big berries and often has many berries that are not fully developed. The pulp is also an unusual color of florescent green. Every year I look at it in the bins and wonder; how am I going to make wine out of this? Every year it turns out wonderfully though.
The color is a rich amethyst. In the aroma you will find the distinct contribution of the Viognier’s floral elements, with hints of Violets, anise and white pepper. Under the floral perfume, dark and ripe flavors such as plum, blackberries and raspberries are perfectly balanced by toasted oak, cola, coffee and five spice. This is an elegant wine, with a soft round mouth feel, smooth silky tannins, and a long fruity finish. The Syrah, and Viognier were picked on the same day and destemmed and crushed into a fermenter, where they were pumped over twice daily during the fermentation process. By adding Viognier to the Syrah we were able to create an elegant Syrah with floral and spice elements. The color is actually darker than the Syrah would have been on its own, a phenomenon known as co-pigmentation. This is a great example of a Rhone style blend.
The fruit was handpicked and gently whole cluster pressed. Upon settling for two days, the clear juice was racked directly to oak barrels where it was allowed to ferment with its own wild yeasts, which were naturally present on the grapes or in the environment. The wild fermentation took longer to get going and the results were well worth the wait! The wine was aged on the yeast sediment for ten months, where it underwent the process of Sur Lie, stirred bi-weekly, to increase the mouth feel and body of the wine. It was filtered before bottling.
The wine boasts a rich mineral element and is medium bodied with oak that is present but not overpowering. The barrels we used did not go through malolactic fermentation, giving a leaner, crisper finish. This wine is bursting with citrus, pear, lemon, green apple and the characteristic Kestrel minerality. This is an exceptional Chardonnay made in the tradition of the old world. The combination of wild fermentation, Wente clone and careful nurturing created a complex multi-layered wine we can’t wait to share!