dramatically reduced our 2018 Riesling grape harvest by more than a third and much of the fruit we did have was used to produce the Cluster Select
Riesling. What remained in the field were very ripe clusters—most with fresh botrytis
but without the dehydration needed for a dessert wine. The botrytis
would add an apricot-honey character, but since it had not yet increased the sugar in the remaining fruit, it was possible to craft a dry wine. The grapes were destemmed and pressed without any skin contact time, then the juice was cool-fermented and aged sur lie
for five months in oak ovals as two lots. One lot was comprised exclusively of a California clonal selection and the other one featured two clones—one from Germany and one from Alsace. A cuvée was selected from the two lots, and because of ripe fruit and fresh botrytis
, the wine is intense with flavors suggesting apple, pear and apricot. Double Gold Medal winner.
The raisins in this photo were shriveled by botrytis, a rot that dominates in cool viticultural climates?in spite of the greyish mold, they taste delicious. The shriveling doubles the concentration of Riesling's apple-citrus flavors and the botrytis adds intense flavors that resemble apricot and honey.