What’s in the Wine Cellar for 2011?

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2011 is going to be a fairly eclectic year at the Small House. The Riesling, Viognier, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sangiovese have all finished their fermentation and are resting in the barrels.

Here’s what we’ve been up to this harvest season:

Last week, we finished pressing the Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes came from the Mercer Vineyard on Spice Mountain in Washington and we’re a little excited about it; it has dark chocolate and pencil lead on the bouquet.

This is our first year doing Riesling and we’ll be honest, we’re learning as we go. We really don’t know what to expect so we’ll keep you posted as we sort of experiment with it.

The Viognier, however, is a different matter. This is our second year for this varietal and we have high expectations. The feedback from our 2010 viognier, which is still in the barrel, has been very well-received. This one might be a contender; we’re just saying. We’re happy to now have a relationship with this grower and have already secured two tons for 2012.

We bought our syrah grapes from a super top secret source. For a couple of newbies on the scene, we are feeling very fortunate to have this fruit. The color in the fermentation bins was a gorgeous purplish ink; a site to behold, for sure. It’s in the barrel now and over the next month, we’ll do malolactic fermentation to convert the acid and change the mouth feel.

The Sangiovese grapes yielded more juice than we expected. You normally get two plus barrels out of a ton of grapes, and we got almost 3 completely full barrels. This juicy goodness might get it’s own release and we might blend some of it. We’re not entirely sure yet. It has candy on the nose and who doesn’t like a little candy on the nose?

We are so happy to be in our new and expanded location. It makes winemaking so much easier when there is proper space in which to work. Now that the harvest, and the press is over, the work starts to mellow out a bit.

This week we’ll be checking the PH on all the barrels. This tells us how much sulfites we need to add. The sulfites protects and preserves our babies in the bottles. Next, we’re going to send out samples of the 08’s and 09’s to be tested in preparation to bottle. We’ll tell you more about those vintages in the next week or so.

Thanks again for all your enthusiasm and interest in what we are doing. We’ve been asked where we are located. We are in Sandpoint, Idaho, but we have no plans to open a tasting room to the public. We will, however, have a private tasting event at some point in the near future. Sign up for our email list to be informed on that. This is also where we will let you know about our first bottling.

Thanks for stopping by our house.