2007 Eisrébe

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Varietal
Scheurebe
Blend and Grape Sources
100% Scheurebe from our home ranch in Spring Valley outside of St. Helena.
Winemaker Notes
Grapes were harvested September 6, 2007 at an average 23.3° Brix, then frozen to minus 5°F and subsequently pressed, after which the sugar content of the juice measured 34.9° Brix. The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks to 21% residual sugar and 7.8% alcohol and bottled in December, 2007.

These estate-grown grapes come from two small vineyards on our St. Helena ranch – one planted in 1992 and one in 2004. The wine is laced with honeyed peach and apricot aromas followed by a lengthy, juicy, seductive finish with bright acidity.
Vintage Notes
The winter months, January-March, were drier than in previous years. The soils dried out prematurely, and in order to bring moisture to the root zone we began to till early. Budbreak arrived earlier than in 2006 with the warming temperatures that spring brought. Summer temperatures for the most part were temperate and consistent. Due to the low rain fall during the winter months the vines matured more rapidly, canes lignified earlier and the period from veraison to harvest was shorter than our historical average. 2007 cluster weights were between 23% and 45% lower than historical weights, lending to lower yields.
Background
In 1994, the desire to producean "ice wine," or Eiswein, as it is called in Germany, prompted us to adopt an innovative program whereby Scheurebe grapes would be picked in the late season and then commercially frozen, thus concentrating their already-high sugar levels. We called the wine "Eisrébe".

Although German Eisweins are produced from fruit that is actually picked frozen from the vine, we found that by freezing the grapes ourselves we could fashion a delicious dessert wine that is viscous and smooth, with excellent acidity to balance the sweetness.