The harvest is over and the grapes are in. For winemakers, it’s still extremely busy. For wine reviewers, it’s time to reflect on some of the wines we have tasted over the past several months. And for many wineries, this is the time of the year new releases come out.
Quoting Joe Ibrahim, Winemaker at Edna Valley Vineyard… this time of the year is anything but calm”. The fruits along the coast are very promising, despite the drought, and the potential for quality 2015 wines looks good.
This is good news, because it parallels the outlook expressed by many winemakers for the 2014 year. And this brings us to three Edna Valley wines, the 2014Chardonnay, the 2014 Pinot Noir, and the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2014 Chardonnay reflects the best of Monterey’s flavors; the wine has the classic acidity and green apple taste of Monterey plus the tropical fruits common to the Chardonnay grapes of Edna Valley. The nose suggests lemon and light spring flowers. The palate suggests stone fruits and pineapple, as well as a subtle spiciness.
In constructing the 2014 Chardonnay, Ibrahim took the harvest grapes and used whole-cluster pressing. The free-run juice ended up being naturally soft and smooth on the palate. To strengthen the wine, Ibrahim placed approximately thirty percent of the juice into malolactic fermentation. These juices were then stored in oak barrels. At that point, the remaining juices were stored in stainless steel tanks. After the initial storage, the juices went into 100% French Oak for eight months.
This wine is pure 100% Chardonnay. All grapes were from the Central Valley AVA. This wine is slightly lighter in alcohol than many, with the alcoholic content at 13.9%. The pH ended at 3.65.
Winemaker Joe Ibrahim has created a nice Chard which comes in under $15.00.
The 2014 Pinot Noir is a typically nice Edna Valley Pinot. It is easy to drink, with several intermingling flavors on the nose. These include cola and earth, as well as a hint of rose. On the palate blackberry prevails. This is a long finish wine with significant acidity at the end.
Grapes for the 2014 Pinot came from two prime AVA’s: the Monterey County and the San Luis Obispo vineyards. This wine was a result of early ripening of the grapes, resulting in an early harvest. The vineyards were harvested in the early morning hours, the grapes destemmed and cold soaked for five days (at 45Degrees). After malolactic fermentation the grapes were aged in 100% French oak for about seven months.
The 2014 is 100% Pinot Noir, from prime vineyards on the Central Coast. The alcohol is 14.2 % and the pH is 3.76. This is a very easy Pinot to serve either with or without an accompanying meal.
The third Edna Valley offering is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. Grapes for this Cabernet came from the Central Coast AVA., with a significant percentage originating in Paso Robles. Keep in mind the 2013 season had a dry winter (drought) and a mild spring. The result: robust flavors but a smaller yield on the vines.
Harvest on the Cab began early in the morning and lasted to mid-morning. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was blended with Cabernet Franc (4%) and Malbec (2%). Post blending, the wine went to French Oak for about six months.
Edna Valley’s releases do justice to their reputation of producing nice wines at reasonable market prices. Winemaker Ibrahim consistently brings out the best from the harvest and the 2014 releases continues to solidify his reputation for this skill.
Have a winederful day and enjoy the 2014 wines.