2016 VLV Reserve Vista Luna Vineyard
This wine is composed of 100% Verdelho from Markus Bokisch’s remarkable Vista Luna Vineyard in the rolling Clements Hills AVA in northeastern Lodi.
This is a very special vineyard—it is a gently sloping hillside vineyard, mostly north facing, with the soil due to glacial deposits flowing down from the Sierras. The soil is a gravelly sandy loam larded with large quartz chunks the size of your fist. The sand is iron-rich, giving the soil an ochre-red hue, and the sand plentiful enough that the vineyard is very well drained.
Fruit ripens very early here—since the 2013, it has always been our first vineyard. We now harvest for acidity and aromatic freshness, rather than for rich aromatics and power in the mouth as we did through 2011. This is the fourth year of the drought, and it is very beneficial for this wine: we get and keep very high acidity, great density and complexity of flavor—power without richness.
As always, we foot-stomped the whole clusters in the press and then pressed them immediately and delicately, to minimize the effect of the skins that we had just somewhat broken. We want some of the aromatic and phenolic power released by the skins, but not too much.We kept the fractions coming out the press separate, first, second, third up to a fifth fraction, and fermented each fraction separately in its own barrel, without settling or racking. We find that this intensifies the salinity and funk of the wine to levels that we had never achieved before—and this a complete triumph for us and for the wine.
The juice was fermented in neutral oak barrels and aged for 7 months before bottling, without racking, stirring, or the addition of SO2. We succeeded in limiting malo-lactic fermentation and filtered the wine before bottling. The total SO2 at bottling was 30 mg/liter with 2 mg/liter free.
97 cases produced.