2017 Earth Cuckoo
Blend - red
TA: 5.8 g/L
Aged 8 months in 50% 1-year-old Romanian and Hungarian (Gillet and Dargaud & Jaeglé Cooperages) and 10 months in 100% neutral oak barrels. Thrice racked. Filtered, but unfined.
For the past four vintages, we’ve selected the first cut of each lot for this special wine. We first choose two and a half of our best Tempranillo barrels as the dark, rich core of the blend. We then set aside our favorite barrel of Grenache for its light, strawberry fruit. Lastly, we steal half (30 gallons) of the best Graciano barrel for acidity, spicy plum/watermelon character and fine tannins. We then age the blend for 16-18 months while giving it just a touch of newer European oak. An homage to the wines of Rioja (with a fair amount of poetic license!).
Destemmed but not crushed to open-top, 3⁄4-ton bins. All lots were left ~10% whole-cluster. Cold-soaked 24 hours, then inoculated with specially selected yeasts (Rhone2056, CLOS, T73, VRB, D254, D80). Hand punched 3-4 times daily. Inoculated with Malolactic bacteria (Omega) around 7 Brix. Pressed at dryness after 9 days average skin contact. Settled 2 days average before barreling.
Willcox AVA - 63% Tempranillo from Cimarron Vineyard. Cochise County, AZ. 4,300 ft. elevation. Harvested Aug. 11th & 18th - 13% Grenache from Pillsbury Vineyard. Cochise County, AZ. 4,300 ft. elevation. Harvested Aug. 18th - 8% Grenache from Dos Amigos Vineyard. Cochise County, AZ. 4,300 ft. elevation. Harvested Aug. 18th - 4% Grenache from Cimarron Vineyard. Cochise County, AZ. 4,300 ft. elevation. Harvested Aug. 16th - 12% Graciano from Cimarron Vineyard. Cochise County, AZ. 4,300 ft. elevation. Harvested Aug. 22nd - Sugar at harvest: 24.3 Brix average