Saturday, June 2, 2018
Time for another Dish?/Husch Vineyards Late Harvest/Great By Itself/Zac Robinson
Anderson Valley is known for great Pinot Noirs,and Husch Vineyards makes amazing Pinot Noirs,BUT we will now enjoy late harvest Gverts.Perfection in a glass.We will chewck out the tasting notes and a little history before we join Zac Robinson for another course! When Tony and Gretchen Husch bought the 60-acre Nunn ranch in 1967 little was known about the grape growing prospects of the region. The property, situated between the towns of Philo and Navarro, had a history of sheep grazing and barley production. Growing grapes seemed an ill-advised prospect: the county farm advisor was skeptical and the number of abandoned vineyards in the region seemed to confirm the futility of the project. But with encouragement from Stoney Hill winery in Napa, and a few tips from neighboring Edmeades Vineyard, the Huschs planted 8 acres of Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer grapes on the cool slopes of the property in 1968. The question of which red grape to plant was unanswered for several years. The best advice from vineyard experts at UC Davis suggested Cabernet Sauvignon would thrive in the Anderson Valley. However the Edmeades’ experience with Cabernet showed that this advice was flawed. Husch ultimately decided to take a gamble with Pinot Noir. With bud wood from Wente, the Anderson Valley’s first Pinot Noir vineyard was grafted atop its rootstock in 1971. This 2.5 acre hilltop became known as “the Knoll.” Having made a few batches of wine in wheelbarrows and garbage cans the Huschs were ready to become an official winery. Though the Anderson Valley had a long history of bootleg wineries nested in the hills, Husch became the first licensed winery in the region in 1971. Over the next couple of years Edmeades (1972) and then Lazy Creek (1975) joined Husch to create a small hub of wineries in this remote region. Husch grew quickly in those first years. With its iconic tasting room and quality wines the Husch family was able to grow production to 4000 cases by 1979. By that time Tony and Gretchen were ready to move back to city life so Tony turned to his neighbor Hugo Oswald Jr. and offered to sell the winery. The story told in the family today is that the deal was sealed with a handshake in the middle of the vineyard. One of the four noble grapes from the Alsace region of France, Gewurztraminer has a long history as a late harvest wine. Yet for any given year, a successful late harvest is far from guaranteed. Only in those years when the weather is cooperative, the fruit set ample, and the winemaker patient will a successful late harvest wine be possible. Winemaking In 2014 we rolled the dice and left a large portion of our Gewurztraminer un-leafed, with the hope of encouraging "noble rot", formally known as botrytis. As the growing season progressed, the cool foggy mornings and warm days did lead to the onset of botrytis in some areas of the vineyard. To cap it off and push the sugars even higher, we used an age-old technique the French call passerillage. This entails cutting the canes, which in turn stops the transport of water to the grapes. This yielded perfectly sweet grapes that were hand-harvested, sorted, and cool fermented. We tasted daily through the course of fermentation and at the point where the sugar and acid found balance, the wine was filtered to remove the yeast and arrest the fermentation. Tasting Notes Extravagant notes of honey, dried apricot, orange marmalade, jasmine, and clove spice dominate the aromatics of this wine. The sweetness is balanced with brilliant acidity. Husch’s Late Harvest Gewurztraminer will continue to gain complexity and richness over the next 7-10 years. Enjoy this wine as an aperitif with strong cheeses such as Roquefort and Munster, or roasted walnuts, pineapple upside-down cake, or apple crème brûlée tart.I just poured us all a glass of this great wine,and now we will enjoy our audio feature with Zac Robinson!Join us Please!!??Cheers! Click here and join us at Husch Vineyards .