2021 Yavapai College Refosco
TA: 5.8 g/L
Aged 5 months in 25% new French (Ermitage Cooperage) and 75% neutral oak barrels. Aged another 6 months in 100% neutral oak barrels. Twice racked. Filtered, but unfined.
Sourcing fruit from the Verde Valley is always difficult. Most of the vineyards in our little AVA are small, and the vineyard owners tend to use all or most of their fruit themselves. We’re usually able to piece a few Verde Valley tons together every year, but 2021 was especially challenging. Were it not for this small, last-minute lot of Refosco from Yavapai College Vineyards, Chateau Tumbleweed wouldn’t have seen any Verde Valley fruit (except for the wines we make for D.A. Ranch). Thanks to Michael Pierce and the crew at Yavapai College, Joe was reunited with an old friend from the past. In Tumbleweed’s early days, when he was working for another winery, Joe got to tinker with Refosco for a few vintages (from a vineyard in New Mexico!). It always reminded him of a cross between Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a soft, dark, rich wine with many layers of fruit character, big tannins like Petite Sirah and a spice similar to Cab Sauv. The savory, rosemarylike note on the finish adds another unique layer of complexity. Only four barrels produced.
Verde Valley AVA -- Yavapai County, AZ - 97% Refosco from Yavapai College Vineyard. Yavapai County, AZ. 3,800 ft. elevation. Harvested Aug. 31st - 2% Montepulciano from Cimarron Vineyard. Cochise County, AZ. 4,300 ft. elevation. Harvested Sept. 18th - 1% Aglianico from Cimarron Vineyard. Cochise County, AZ. 4,300 ft. elevation. Harvested Sept. 18th - Sugar at harvest: 24.3 Brix
Destemmed but not crushed to an open-top, 1.5-ton bin. Lot was left ~20% whole-cluster. Inoculated with specially selected yeasts (CVRP). Hand-punched 3-4 times daily. Inoculated with Malolactic bacteria (Omega) around 10 Brix. Pressed at dryness after 11 days skin contact. Settled 2 days before barreling.
Drink now or cellar 5+ years