2016 Viuda 26 Graciano + Tempranillo
80% Graciano + 20% Tempranillo
The 2016 Viuda 26 was grown in the Rorick Vineyard in Calaveras County, on soils comprised of a layer of schist over dolomite-rich limestone. Elevation of the vineyard is 2000’. The combination of limestone, elevation, and the cold nights of the Sierras produce fruit with depth, texture, and brilliant natural acidity; minimal handling in the winery allows for an honest and pure representation of site and variety to shine through. The framework for this wine is one of high-acid with firm tannins -- both elements are hallmarks of wines grown on RHV. From this base of structure we are flooded with generous fruit: black plums and currants balanced with ample crushed stone and swirls of dusty, dry soil. There's an incredible savory aspect that continues to unfold as the wine opens, with notes of toasted black sesame oil, rubbed sage, rosemary, lavender and nutmeg.
The Graciano was hand-picked and fermented with 100% stem inclusion. Vigorous pigeage was undertaken at reception in order to avoid carbonic character -- perhaps call it a “stem inclusion” fermentation as opposed to “whole cluster” fermentation; an important distinction as the term “whole cluster” can imply that the clusters are sound/unbroken at the start of ferment, which would result in carbonic maceration. We wanted none of that business in our Viuda. The Tempranillo was destemmed prior to fermentation. Both Tempranillo and Graciano were fermented in open-top vessels; 2 manual punchdowns were applied daily until the wine was dry. Primary fermentation lasted 20 days, at which time the wine was pressed down to neutral 227L barriques. The wine was racked off of its lees at 10 months and saw a total of 20 months elevage. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. As with all Forlorn Hope wines, no new oak is utilized, and nothing was added to the must or wine (no cultured yeast, ML bacteria, water, tartaric acid, enzymes, nutrients, etc) with the exception of minimal effective SO2.