Friends and followers of the fine wines of RLV,
This week I had the great pleasure of seeing the fruits of our labor during this recent 2020 harvest go from vine to bottle. On March 3rd, 2021 RLV bottled the 2020 Cinsault Rose and 2020 Nocturnal Albarino. As always RLV’s passion is fine wine production.
A significant amount of planning is done pre-harvest to organize the necessary operations to achieve the fine wine result sought as an end result. On many levels, the final impact of a wine when tasted is driven by its overall balance. For both these wines, the desired results were wines of freshness, crispness, pleasing aromatics, elegant body structure.
Albarino is a native varietal of the coastal region of Spain, however, exhibits significant potential to achieve excellent development when grown on the Texas High Plains. The 2020 RLV Nocturnal Albarino grapes were harvested at lower Brix (degree of sugar accumulation) resulting in a modest alcohol level of about 13% which preserves the litheness of the wine. Following careful clarification, 2 yeasts were utilized in fermentation conducted below 60 degree temperature control. While the majority of the RLV Noctural was aged in stainless steel a small fraction was placed in a barrel and went through malolactic fermentation. The result has been rewarding with a distinct note of green apple to taste and a pale yellow color with green tinge in appearance.
Similarly, the Cinsault Rose was planned as a fine Rose wine from the start, meaning the harvesting of the Cinsault was performed early compared to normal red grape harvesting, rather than the bleeding of mature grapes. The processing of the Cinsault occurred similarly to the Albarino above. This allowed for modest alcohol development and subtle aromatics. Of note, a small amount of bled Tempranillo was barrel fermented and later introduced to the dominant Cinsault fermentation. Aging continued in stainless steel till bottling. In the end, pleasant red berry aromatics are readily evident, giving way to tropical notes on the palate including melon, mango, and grapefruit. The appearance is a pale salmon color reminiscent of Provencale Roses. The 2020 RLV Cinsault Rose a wonderful fine Rose.
As always cheers,
Please join us in a glass of fine RLV wine
Ed Brandecker, MD
RLV Wine Program Director