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Newest releases: 2012 Aurai and Thalia

2 May, 2013

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Thalia 2012

Thalia, our Igt red is our international red blend.  It is named after the god of comedy as I think we all take wine just a bit too seriously and it should inspire laughter instead of wrinkles on our forehead from over thinking.  This year, as in 2011, it is made up of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah and 8% Merlot.  I know it sounds more challenging to make up a new blend each year, but I started out our tasting with the same percentages and it seemed just right, so why mess with success?  After reading about our Aurai from the same year, you have an idea about the difficulty of the growing season; now comes the rest of the story.  After the Pecorino and Merlot harvests in August with both of those wines well above 16% alcohol, we got some really nice rain which refilled the other varieties' tanks, so we were able to postpone the other harvests until the more traditional time in mid to late September.  The Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah were perfectly ripe and healthy with lower sugar levels so Thalia comes in at 14.5% alcohol.  That may still seem high to the world market, but with our vineyard's exposition, that is about normal for us and the wine is well balanced with typical notes of fully ripe Cabernet fruit, a bit of spice from the Syrah and a bit of rich softness from the Merlot.  This is a wine which will drink well now, but will age well for at least several years and should improve after a longer time in bottle.  Each wine was vinified separately  and stored in stainless steel for 8 months before blending and bottling.  A very light clarification with bentonite was done followed by sterile filtering at bottling.  It is a great wine for daily drinking, with pizza, antipasti, pasta, grilled vegetables and whatever else you like.  Price in the winery will be 10 euros and as always, our B&B guests and our fb friends are entitled to a discount.

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This is our Docg Pecorino wine named after the goddess of the cool wind which we are lucky enough to experience most days.  2012 was a wild and crazy year starting with an Easter freeze which wiped out about 40% of our Pecorino buds and followed with 8 "anticyclones" affecting our weather during the summer, arriving from Africa.  This meant a hot and dry summer with just 2 rains during the growing season, just enough to keep the vines alive, although in the heat we had, the vines shut down as a protection against water loss.  The Pecorino grapes were coming along fine, although as usual they were quite small, and the first few sugar analyses showed they were almost ready to pick around the 20th of August, but they didn't taste just right yet, so I waited.  4 days of 100 degree weather later, the sugar level had jumped 4 points and so there was no choice but to harvest on August 27, almost 3 weeks before the Pecorino harvest in 2010.  Those extra days gave the grapes more balanced flavor when we picked however.  Now what happens when you have high sugar in the grapes?  You either get a sweet wine if your yeast is unable to ferment the wine to dryness or you get a high alcohol wine, which was our case.  Luckily, the concentrated grapes with a high skin/juice ratio have made a very aromatic, racy wine with nice acidity which helps disguise the 16.5% alcohol content.  There are wonderful notes of tropical fruit and banana and it is not dissimilar to our 2011 Pecorino, so if you liked that wine, you should like our new model as well.  This wine has spent 8 months in stainless steel with a minimal fining with bentonite and sterile filtering during bottling.  Price is the same as 2011 at 10 euros a bottle with 3000 bottles available from a vineyard of 0.83 Hectares (very low yield due to the freeze damage).


A last note:  as I always have said, we make honest wines made from organically grown grapes, so while some may be distressed by the fact we fine and filter, I will say that both these wines were pretty stable before clarifying, so we used very little bentonite to stabilize the wine against certain precipitates. These wines don't have the time in oak as do our others and we want to make sure the wines you buy from us are free from defects.  That starts with careful work in the vineyard throughout the year to ensure only beautiful grapes arrive at the winery at harvest and continues through with our work in the winery such as racking and pumpovers to give us deeply colored wines which need very little manipulation other than small doses of sulfites to protect the wines for you, our consumers.  All our other wines have the advantage of oak aging which givies stability through oak exposure and more importantly time, so many of those are completely unfined and unfiltered and for those who like the term-natural.

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