Like so many of our wines, for me, Heart Of Gold is always a work-in-progress. The upside of that approach has been that the wines seem to get better each year. If there’s a downside, it’s that I’m almost never satisfied. One important underlying assumption is that no two years are ever the same. That being said, 2016 is in many ways similar to the previous three years, as a result of the persistence of drought conditions in Northern California.
VINEYARD SOURCE: Fenaughty Vineyard is on a ridge-top at 900 meters elevation, in the Apple Hill District in Placerville. The soil is Aiken Series clay-loam, which is a fairly cool soil with good moisture-retaining capacity. Vines receive very minimal irrigation here. Vermentino and Grenache Blanc ripen, in most years, around mid-September. In 2016, the harvest was unusually early, yet with exceptional fruit maturity.
WINEMAKING NOTES: Picked in late August, at an average Brix level of 18.9, and pH at 3.39. Whole-cluster-pressed, and fermented at 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Dry at the Equinox, when we blocked the malolactic. Racked in December, and bottled February 14th. 2017.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES: Pale color, with a slight green cast. Intensely fresh, pretty aromas. Wonderful acidity, very “Springy,” mouth-watering flavors. Grenache Blanc taking the lead this time around. Long, clean, immensely pleasing finish, featuring a silky, fleshiness, in a wine that seems, otherwise, nearly weightless. Seatbelts highly recommended!
PRODUCTION: 255 cases
RELEASE DATE: March 2017
Steve Edmunds, Winemaker