Daily Wine 9/27/17:
Gundlach Bundschu – Merlot – Sonoma Valley – 2014
- This wine is a Bordeaux-style red blend dominated by 89% Merlot with the remainder being 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec, and 1% Cabernet Franc.
- The grapes soak for 3-5 five days to extract color and tannins with gentle pump-overs.
- During the naturally occurring malolactic fermentation, battonage is done weekly. Battonage is the stirring of the lees (dead yeast cells) to add richness and complexity.
- Maturation takes place in 100% French Oak barrels, 40% of which are new, for 17 months.
- Only about 3.800 cases were produced of this wine.
- The estate vineyard in Sonoma Valley sits around seven miles from San Pablo Bay which regulates the temperatures and supplies a morning overlying fog to the region. Maritime breezes and long sunlight exposure allow fruit to develop intense concentration while retaining a bright, vibrant acidity level.
- The terrain features steep, SW-facing hillsides of the Mayacamas Mountains with shallow, rocky soils of volcanic ash and alluvial deposits.
- Some fruit from warmer plots is added to add more lushness to the wines.
- The Bundschu family vineyard, Rhinefarm, is among the oldest in Sonoma at about 160 years. They are currently in their sixth generation.
- Rhinefarm is named as such by Jacob Gundlach in 1858 as a reminder of his homeland in Germany. After purchasing 400 acres of Rhinefarm, Jacob and his wife, Eva, spent their honeymoon traveling throughout Germany and France purchasing the rootstock necessary to plant on Rhinefarm.
- The first full vintage on Rhinefarm was 1861, but J. Gundlach & Co. had already been making wine and brandy from purchased grapes.
- Jacob and three friends each had 15,000 vines planted to their name at Rhinefarm.
- Pair this with beef, lamb, and game.