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My winemaking philosophy which I developed early on in my career is based on the concept that wine is a natural food. As such, the ultimate enjoyment of wine is as a graceful and harmonious accompaniment to a meal, whether it be simple or sublime.

While most of my wines are enjoyable by themselves, it is with food that they really shine, and reveal all of their nuances and textures. To me the best wines have the ability to bring out the best in the food they are paired with and conversely the food brings out the best in the wines.

2008 Albariño
Clover Creek Vineyard - Santa Ynez Valley

2008 Albariño

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Albariño

Vineyard Sources:
Clover Creek

Production: 155 cases
Alcohol by volume: 12.4%
pH: 3.34
Titratable acidity: .52 g/100 ml.
Cellaring potential: 2-3 years
Bottle price: $23.00

The vines at Clover Creek Vineyard are now eight years old and are beginning to reach a consistent level of production. The grapes were harvested on September 11, at a low sugar level of 21.3 Brix. Harvesting grapes at this low level of sugar is rarely done in California because of the risk of picking the grapes under ripe. Most winemakers will play it safe and wait an extra few days or weeks to make sure the grapes are fully mature. However, with this grape varietal, I feel it is very important to pick at the lowest sugar level possible in order to keep the alcohol level as low as possible and to keep the acidity up as much as possible. It is a challenge to keep this exquisite balance in Albariño, but one I feel we meet every year.

The wine has a pale, slightly gold color. The nose is very fragrant with aromas that hint at guava and mango fruits. On the palate the wine has an initial richness with flavors similar to the aroma. The tartness from the high acidity takes over at mid-palate and spreads the flavors through the palate and ends with a dry finish. With six months or more of bottle aging the rich flavors will increase in weight and will be in better balance with the acidity.

To make our Albariño more competitive against the Spanish wines in the restaurant market, we have lowered the price this year, which is a bonus to our Wine Club Members and retail customers visiting the tasting room.

Enjoy this wine with fresh oysters, various fish, and salads made with crab and lobster meat.

Rick Longoria, Winemaker
August 1, 2009

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