2010 Espiritu Dessert Wine
High in the Mayacamas on a sun swept, southerly slope, we are fortunate to harvest a few tons of Petite Sirah from the Bald Mountain Vineyard. The high-acid, intensely flavored, blackened grapes make the perfect starting point for our “Port styled” dessert wine known as Espiritu.
After carefully sorting, de-stemming and crushing the fruit, we carefully “cold soak” the grapes for 5 to 7 days to extract as much color, tannin and taste into the juice as we can before fermenting it into wine. Once the fermentation starts, the “cap” of grapes must be vigorously worked to release the remaining essence into the wine before we add the brandy to arrest the fermentation.
Once the brandy is added the fermentation is over and the resulting wine is drained and pressed down to old, neutral flavored barrels. The new Espiritu, at this point, is quite heady at 20% alcohol and about 8 % sugar. Now in cask, the wine is left to mellow in the cellar for the next 18 months before bottling. This type of Dessert wine is known as Vintage style and the wine will continue to develop and improve in the bottle for many years.
Raspberry, Black plum and wild cherry notes dominate the nose whilst sweet, jammy fruit awaits the taster on the palate.
Enjoyed best at the end of a great meal with friends either instead of dessert or as a complement to one. My favorite pairing is with a fine cheese course.