NEW RELEASE: Ultima is our definition of dessert; opulence in a bottle. While Riesling supplies the weight of this wine with fresh pear, apricot and honey notes, the supplemental varietals add beautiful delicate aromatics.
VINTAGE 2016 was a year of unusual weather that led to beautiful fruit at lower than average yields. In spring, an early heat spike meant a very condensed time frame for bloom. This gave us smaller than average berries and clusters and set us on the path for our third early harvest in a row. Thankfully, summer weather was cooler than average, which slowed down ripening and allowed flavor development to catch up to sugar accumulation. Due to our small initial crop estimates, we held off thinning until the last minute to delay ripening and add “hang-time”, an important factor in the development of complex flavors.
We were a little stunned when our first fruit hit the crush-pad in the last days of August, setting a record for our earliest harvest in 40 years. September and October brought relief from the heat with mild evenings and cool nights that allowed for slow, even ripening. We picked fruit that was absolutely pristine and perfectly ripe, at a gradual pace that allowed us to give our full attention to each block and work shorter hours than in a typical harvest season.
We are hopeful that 2016 will be just as great as the spectacular 2012 and 2014 vintages, and early signs indicate just that, with the wines showing moderate alcohols, balanced acids and great concentration.
To create Ultima, we choose the most perfectly ripe, aromatic grapes fruit from our estate vineyards, primarily Riesling. We freeze the fruit prior to pressing to emulate the ice-wines produced in regions where fruit freezes on the vine.
To produce the Ultima, we press the grapes while frozen, which leaves a portion of the water from the grapes behind. This concentrates the fruit’s sweetness as well as all other flavors and aromatic compounds. The juice is then slow fermented in chilled tanks to protect the lovely honey and floral qualities that make Ultima a prized dessert wine.
Viticultural & Enological Data
- Vine Age 8/33/43 years
- Vatting Whole-cluster pressed frozen grapes cold fermented in small stainless steel tanks.