December 2019 Musings from the Wine Press

December 2019 Musings from the Wine Press

Crush 2019 is now in barrel. Harvest was marked by heavy May rains, cool spring and early summer till extreme heat beset the vineyards from late June through mid-August. Having been through four RLV harvests, no two have been similar and 2019 again was unique and no exception.

With the unceasing heat, sugar concentration in the berries was slow to evolve, posing a challenge in finding a compromise be- tween sugar level, acid retention, and flavor development in the skins. Never- the- less we managed a successful harvest and believe the 2019 vintage holds great potential. Our immediate access to the winery from vineyard has allowed RLV to capture the highest potential of our harvested grapes for premium wine production.

With this wine club release, we offer a look back to the opulent 2017 vintage with the last red wine bottled, Syrah, as well as the 2018 III Especial.

2017 Syrah

The 2017 RLV Syrah was bottled in March of 2019 with a scant 150 cases made for the wine club. This wine is 100% from the Texas High Plains AVA. The Syrah was sourced from Lahay and Newsom vineyards providing the underlying wine structure with black cherry, cassis, coffee, and cola notes. To bring added complexity and a core of brighter red fruit, a small blending of Reddy 2017 Tempranillo was added. Being the last 2017 red wine bottled, it spent 18 months in neutral and French oak barrel.

Harvest Notes

Harvest Period – August 2017
Blend – Syrah 80%, Tempranillo 20%
Vinification – 18 months in barrel, 30% new French oak and remained in neutral
Finished Wine – ABV 14.6, pH 3.76, RS <0.01 g/l
Case Production – 165 cases

Tasting Notes

Well -balanced and harmonious full-bodied red wine with earthy ripe dark red and black fruit character punctuated with Morel mushroom.

2018 III Especial

The III Especial is a departure from our normal approach to white wine making. Usually, a paucity of oak or none at all is used with our white wines. However, with the III Especial we went all in. The Especial unlike the usual III was formulated from 4 French oak barrel ferments, 2 Marsanne, 1 Roussanne, and 1 Viognier. The wine went through partial malolactic fermentation and was aged for 6 months in barrel.

This elegant wine is reminiscent of a Condrieu. This unique wine is sure to please with only 100 cases produced.

Harvest Notes

Harvest Period – End of July, early August 2018
Blend – Marsanne 50%, Viognier 25%, and Roussanne 25%
Vinification – New French Oak Barrel ferment, 100%
Case Production – 100 cases
Finished Wine – ABV 12.5%, pH 3.66, RS <0.01 g/l

Tasting Notes

This Rhone style blend with oak influence is subtle with accents of crème brulee and toasted coconut. A bright beam of white peach, apricot, Asian pear with tropical fruit elements shine through.

With this current release of wines, we conclude the 2019 wine club activities. As always, we thank for your love and support of RLV. We wish you memorable Christmas holiday and look forward to an exciting 2020.

Our Holiday Wine Gift Offerings

Remember those very special people in your life a gift of RLV wine. Check out our Holiday Special Offerings with free ship- ping by going to our website: www.rlv.wine, Shop Gift Packs

  • I Am Dreaming of a White Christmas: 3 Pack of white wine
  • Have a Holy Jolly Red Christmas: 3 Pack of red wine
  • Twelve Wines of Christmas: Mixed case of wine

As always, Cheers!

Ed Brandecker, MD
RLV Wine Program Director