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Corley Family Napa Valley

Chris Corley
 
July 31, 2008 | Chris Corley

A Question from Curtis Ingraham

"Where can I buy your Brut champagne ? I just sampled it at AVA restaurant in Ross and was bowled over. Terrific."

Curtis Ingraham - Kentfield, CA



Curtis,

Thanks for the question. We're going to ship you a bottle (on us, of course) for being the first to submit a question to our blog! You can e-mail your shipping info to our retail room at <a href="mailto:wine@corleyfamilynapavalley.com">wine@corleyfamilynapavalley.com</a>. I'll start chilling it for you !

For Domaine Montreaux, I'd encourage you to visit us at the winery. As it is, we'll likely be harvesting the 2008 in 2-3 weeks ... you may get a kick out that if the timing worked out.

Although we've been producing Domaine Montreaux Sparkling Wine since 1983, we don't make a whole lot of it each year. It's a very labor intensive project going from sunshine to bottle with the bubbly.

The cuvee shifts every year or so as a new vintage of vibrant young bubbles is produced. In addition we adjust our vintage blend based on tastes, and draw heavily from our inventory of bottle-aged vintage wine still aging "Sur Latte". Our current offering of Domaine Montreaux (DMX in our cellar shorthand) is a very intriguing mix of our 1990 and 2007.

The 1990 has been in the bottle aging on the lees for an incredible 17 years and has developed a very rich nutty, yeasty, caramel like aroma profile.

The 2007, conversely, spent only about 3 months in bottle prior to being used in the blend. The 2007 is full of fresh green apples, very lively acidity and a crispness that I find very appealing.

The wines work quite well together, enhancing each others positive attributes and strengthening each others weaknesses ...

Cheers,



Chris

Time Posted: Jul 31, 2008 at 4:30 PM
Chris Corley
 
July 28, 2008 | Chris Corley

"That which we call a rose..."

Posted By : Chris Corley

Juliet :

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Romeo and Juliet

As a refreshing finish to a warm day or midsummers night, I've been enjoying our 2007 Rose with some frequency over the last couple of months. Clearly I have a natural bias, but I really like it. It's got a nice light pink color, vibrant acidity, and a long fruity finish.

In the past, our Rose has always been varietal specific - for instance ""Rose of Pinot Noir"" and ""Rose of Syrah"". In 2007, I did 'saignee' on a fair amount of our red fermentations. No, saignee is not a form of voodoo, although I have been known to use a little mojo in certain vintages. Saignee is a french term for bleeding juice from the fermentation almost immediately after crushing the red grapes. The juice that is bled from the tank is generally clear to light pink, as it is removed from the tank before it has a chance to extract much, if any, color from the skins. This pink juice is then treated much like a white wine, fermented at cool temperatures and protected from the air.

In 2007, we had several varietals of rose which we had produced by saignee, which all tasted great individually - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah. Not really inclined to bottle four separate Roses for the vintage, I started playing around with blends, and ultimately arrived at the current bottling, which includes all four varietals and even a splash of Chardonnay, which added a very nice textural component with its naturally high acidity.

Clearly, we couldn't call this wine ""Rose of ..."", so we casually kicked around a few ideas. One name that sticks with me is ""Rose de Sangre Fresca"" because its fun to say and translates (in a somewhat macabre way) into ""Rose of Fresh Blood"", tying into the winemaking technique. Ultimately, we decided to simply identify the wine as ""Rose"". It's elegant if you ponder the word a bit and let it linger ...

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” 

Time Posted: Jul 28, 2008 at 3:30 AM
Chris Corley
 
July 27, 2008 | Chris Corley

Turning Colors

Veraison ! Right now is an exciting time in the vineyard. Some of the grapes are going through that magical metmorphosis called veraison, when the berries begin to soften up and change colors. The white grapes transform from tart, bright green pellets into soft luscious golden grapes and the red grapes drift through every shade imaginable between lime green and deep purple. It is really amazing to watch. When I figure out how to post pictures on the blog, I'll be sure to include a picture of a cluster mid-veraison.

As different varietals all have their own timelines, they go through veraison at different times. As of today, our Pinot Noir is about 40-50% through, the Chardonnay about 50-60% through and the Syrah roughly 10-15% through. For me, putting a percentage on veraison is really a peripheral observation, made mostly by walking through the blocks and taking a broadview of the clusters and getting a sens of about how many berries on the cluster have turned color. A little easier to see with the red grapes. With the whites, it takes a little squeezing to see if the cluster is softening up.

Today we were removing leafs and pulling excess shoots to expose the fruit to more clusters. Just like mowing your lawn, you can smell the vegetation as it gets cut from the vine - in this case, like fresh cut grass and bell peppers.

The vibe picks up when the berries start turning color, and the guys in the field and in the cellar are definitely buzzin' with harvest around the corner ...

Time Posted: Jul 27, 2008 at 8:56 PM

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