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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.

2007 Albariño
Clover Creek Vineyard - Santa Ynez Valley

2007 Albariño

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Albariño

Vineyard Sources:
Clover Creak Vineyard

Production: 124 cases
Alcohol by volume: 12.6%
pH: 3.21
Titratable acidity: .79 g/100 ml.
Cellaring potential: 2-4 years
Bottle price: $26.00

It has been very rewarding to see the positive response we have received from consumers and critics for the Albariños we have produced. It seems there is a tremendous amount of interest in this unique varietal, and we are pleased to be part of the first wave of producers.

We discovered that Albariño is an early-ripening varietal in the Santa Ynez Valley, so in late August we begin to carefully monitor the maturity of the grapes. We continue to push the envelope in terms of picking as early as possible to retain as much of the natural acidity of the grape and to keep alcohol levels as low. In 2007, I believe we came close to discovering the lower limits of maturity of Albariño grapes.

The result is a wine with the lowest alcohol content of any of our Albariños, though not with the highest level of acidity as one might expect. This indicates that the grapes were balanced at the time of harvest, which took place on September 8, 2007.

The wine fermented for a period of ten weeks, slightly longer than normal.

I decided to age the wine using, for the first time, some neutral French oak barrels, as well as stainless steel drums. I believe the oak aging gave that portion of the blend a little bit of creaminess that aging in solely stainless steel could not provide. The wine was bottled in early March 2008.

The wine has a pale, straw color. The aroma is a fragrant mixture of blossoms, cantaloupe and brown spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. On the palate it is immediately lean with flavors of melons and spices. A nice richness is beginning to develop mid-palate and will continue to do so with another year of bottle aging. It has a long, refreshing finish due to the naturally high acidity and will pair well with scallops, shrimp, oysters and crab salad.

Rick Longoria, Winemaker
May 1, 2008

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