ah helps if I add the release notes
Apsara Cellars, Las Madres Syrah, 2011
65 cases made. $35/bottle
In the glass our Las Madres Syrah shows an intense violet rim with a deep purple core. From the bottle the vibrant nose opens up over time to display a vanilla laced spice box with clove, anise and licorice. There are also hints of dark fruits as well as more savory notes of bacon and black olives.
We’re happy to say this Syrah displays the vintage, pushed to the limits and showing muscular savoury notes of kalamata olives, white pepper, blackberry star anise and subtle black tea on the palatte. Adding to the complexity there is a suggestion of smoked meats and on the finish the tannins coat the palate with a gentle hint of cocoa nibs.
In amongst the rolling hills of Carneros lies a vineyard close to our hearts, Las Madres is a site that produces Syrah of unique qualities and character. Grown on a mix of clone 174 and 300 the vines are planted on an east-west alignment in a sheltered bowl. Making the most of the diurnal flux the vines are always some of the last to be picked, pushed to develop flavor whist retaining a naturally balanced 13.9% alcohol.
The challenging vintage of 2011 meant we had to ride out some sleepless nights before picking this fruit. Given the vintage we decided to pull back on the percentage of whole clusters used in the fermentation, using around 10%. After 5 days of cold soak, we allowed the tanks to warm and utilized a strain of yeast directly cultivated from the wineries and vineyards of Côtes du Rhône.
On completion of fermentation we drained and pressed the tank filling used French oak barrels where upon the wines spontaneously went through malolactic fermentation. The wine was then left to mature for 13 months in barrel.
Apsara Cellars, Rivers Reach Sauvignon Blanc, 2012
85 cases made. $25/bottle
Crystal clear with a green-straw color. This years Sauvignon Blanc displays elegant aromas of lychees and passion fruit, alongside notes of pineapple, limes and a touch of green mango. Exotic fruits are complimented by a restrained mineral note that leads through to an almost creamy mid palate. The development of flavors in the mouth is carried through by a refreshing bright acidity that pairs with the phenolic component delivering crisp apple refreshment that lingers through to the finish. The 2012 vintage gave us a more structured wine, whose complexities benefit from some air to display its full character.
Located on well drained alluvial soils just south of the Beckstoffer Georges III vineyard, our Sauvignon comes from low-yielding vines from the To Kalon and Musque clones. The delightful 2012 growing season presented us with near perfect fruit, there were no issues with botrytis or mildew, instead the fruit that came in showed a great balance between flavors, acidity and sugars.
After sorting the fruit, it was loaded into a Champagne press cycle to achieve a long, but gentle pressing of the grapes. The juice was then sent to cold settle for 24 hrs, dropping the heavier suspended solids. We decided to co-ferment two separate yeast strains, the first was chosen to optimize body and texture complimenting the second, which was there to bring out and express the natural flavors and aromas of the grapes.
A long cool fermentation was carried out in 62% used French oak, 30% new French oak barrels and 8% stainless steel. On completion of alcoholic fermentation our barrels received regular battonage (stirring) of the lees to build up a smooth mouth feel. The wine then went through 6 months elevage, resting in barrels until bottling.