VARIETAL/VINEYARD: We began grafting vines over to Montepulciano in 2005 after visiting Italy’s Le Marche Region. We now have 2.5 acres of Montepulciano planted to four different blocks on our winery ranch. This wine comes from our first vineyard block near the creek, and a block we planted in 2007. The vines are planted to 4’ X 6’ spacing on 101-14 and 420-A rootstock. We believe our climate in Dry Creek is similar to the cooler hillside sites in Abruzzo or Southern Marche, resulting in a Montepulciano with brighter fruit and acidity.
VINTAGE/HARVEST: 2016 was another excellent vintage for Montepulciano. 2016 signaled an end to the three-year drought by providing a fairly normal growing season. Cool August weather extended the growing season, providing tannin structure and preserving acidity. We harvested Montepulciano with ideal sugar/acid numbers on September 30th and October 2nd. Montepulciano is a vigorous vine, thus we routinely drop about 40-50% of the crop for uniform ripening, depth, and complexity.
WINEMAKING: We fermented this Montepulciano in small open top tanks. It was de-stemmed, lightly crushed, and kept below 60 degrees for several days prior to spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeast. The cap is punched down daily and pressed at dryness. We aged this wine in French oak barrels, 35% new for 16 months.
STYLE: The 2016 Montepulciano confirms our belief that we can make serious, full-bodied wine from this grape here in Dry Creek Valley. It shows the classic black color, cassis, and chocolate flavors with a lush yet structured mouth feel. Amazing that a wine this full-bodied can retain nice acidity. The Full-Monty, if you will. Our ’16 Montepulciano should age at least 6 to 8 years. Bring on the pasta, mushroom sauce, and the Adriatic Sea. -MJU
SEPT 30, OCT 2,
ALCOHOL: 14.5 %
17 MONTHS FRENCH OAK 35% NEW