MikeL's Guide to WA Wineries
Worden's Winery - Wines

The Wines: (Fall 1996)
Whites:
1995 Merlot: Medium body, dry, flavors of strawberry, pepper and a hint of tar and tobacco. Long clean finish with a pleasant hint of oak.
Varietal: Merlot; Appellation: Yakima Valley; Vineyard: Crawford; Cases produced: ?; TA: 0.90, pH: 3.56, RS: 0.2%; Brix at harvest: 23.0 - 24.5; ALC: 12.6%; Bottled: 4-29-96;

1993 Merlot: Dry, medium body, fragrant with fruit flavors of cherry, berry and a hint of oak. Long pleasant finish.
Brix at harvest: 23.0 - 24.5 TA: 0.73 Residual Surgar: 0.2% PH: 3.60 ALC: 13.1% Bottled: 5-12-94 Vineyard: Crawford

1994 Cabernet/Merlot Full body, dry, lots of oak in the nose and palate. Intense flavors of cherry and berry, with a hint of tar and tobacco.
Vintage: 1994 Brix at Harvest: 23.0 - 24.0 pH: 3.55 Acid: 0.70 - 0.80 TA: 0.82 ALC: 13.8 Bottled: 4-30-96 Residual Surgar: 0.1% 63% Cabernet * 37% Merlot Vineyard: Portteus / Crawford / Charboneau

1993 Cabernet/Merlot Full body, dry, lots of oak in the nose and palate. Intense flavors of cherry and berry, with a hint of tar and tobacco.
Vintage: 1993 Brix at Harvest: 23.0 - 24.0 pH: 3.67 Acid: 0.70 - 0.80 TA: 0.63 ALC: 827 Bottled: 5-26-95 Residual Surgar: 0.2% 54% Cabernet Sauvignon * 43% Merlot * 3% Cabernet Franc Vineyard: Porteus / Crawford / Charboneau Dry, medium bodied red, balanced complex, bouquet of plum-vanilla with berry flavors with a hint of oak.
Winemaker's Notes: The Grapes are harvested in September and October at approximately 23 Brix when the fruit flavors were fully developed. The must remains in fermenters for up to seven weeks for full extraction. Wines are blended and barreled in late winter. The Cabernet/Merlot blend is removed from barrels and bottled the following winter. We strive for a supple complex red, with flavor characteristics including cherry, berries, plum, and spice. A wine that can be enjoyed young as well as improve for a decade.

1995 Claret Vintage: 1995 Brix at Harvest: 22.5 - 23.8 PH: 3.72 Acid: 0.70 - 0.80 TA: 0.96 ALC: 12.9% Bottled: 4-3-96 Residual Surgar: 0.2% 66% Lemberger 34% Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard: Crawford Light body, dry, bouquet of black pepper and cherry wood. Easy to drink with little bottle age. Recommended serving temperature: 60

1994 Claret Vintage: 1994 Brix at Harvest: 23.0 - 24.0 pH: 3.63 Acid: 0.70 - 0.80 TA: 0.76 ALC: 13.1% Bottled: 5-26-96 Residual Surgar: 0.4% 58% Lemberger 42% Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard: Porteus / Crawford / Charboneau Light dry red, balanced acidity, complex with flavors of black cherry and black pepper. Very long finish. Recommended serving temperature: 60 From the French; Clairet - Light, Clear - Delicacy, Finesse. Claret is the British adaptation, they use it as a synonym for "Red wine of Bordeaux". King Henry of England married Eleanor of Aquitane in 1274. This gave the British access to the wines of Bordeaux. They began importing and bottling them. In this era, the red wine of Bordeaux was much lighter than today. As the French said "Clairet" so the British called it Claret. This is the world's first Lemberger/Cabernet. Lemberger is a variety locally known for a spicy, very berry like character that can be drunk young because of its low tannin profile. It does not have many of the rough phenols like Cabernet usually does. Lemberger was originally from Central Europe and was introduced to France by Count Odart. Cabernet Franc is a magic grape. At small levels 1-8%, it seems to amplify the characteristics of a wine without making an identifiable contribution of its own. Merlot does make a very subtle change, boosting the cherry flavors. Vineyard Selection: The Crawford vineyard is in the cooler part of the Yakima Valley. It produces reds that are fruity, supple, low inb tannins and on the light side. The Cabernet Sauvignon has nice berry flavors and just a bit of a minty herbal character. Winemaker's Notes: We harvest the grapes in October when the flavors are "right" and we have a good acid and pH balance. The fruity is crushed to leave lots of whole berries and keep the fermentation slow and cool. Typically, 15 days with a peak temperature of 75-80 degrees. The must is pressed at completion of primary fermentation. The wine goes through some degree of malo-lactic fermentation and sits on the lees through winter. It is not fined. It is sterile filtered and bottled in April. With its intense fruit character it works wonderfully with pizza and Southwestern U.S. dishes particularly those using clipotle peppers.

1995 Chardonnay Vintage: 1995 Worden's Reserve Chardonnay Acid: 0.6 - 0.7 Brix at Harvest: 22.2 - 23.2 pH 3.4 - 3.5 ALC: 12% TA: 0.99 Residual Sugar: 0.1% Bottled: 4-29-96 Vineyard Porteus/Crawford Full body, dry, soft, complex with rich bouquet, rich flavors of pineapple, butter with a hint of toast, a long pleasureable finish.. Recommended serving temperature: 60

Cascade Chardonnay Vintage: NV Brix at Harvest: 22.2 - 23.2 Acid: 0.6 - 0.7 ALC: 12.7% PH: 3.55 Residual Sugar: 0.2 - 0.4 TA: 0.84 Amount: 823 Bottled: 4-2-96 Vineyard: Porteus/Crawford Full body, medium dry, tropical fruit in the nose with a hint of Coca-cola. Well balanced with a long pleasent finish. Recommended serving temperature: 40-60 At Worden's, we draw on several vineyards for their distinctiveness. We then use a complex range of barrels, tanks, temperatures, yeast type, and malolactic fermentation to add to the complexity of the wine. These distinctive "components" are then combined to produce a glass full of subtle yet rich complexities. Winemaker's Notes: Flavors of melons and pineapple compliment a buttery finish. Chardonnay supports food flavors rather than competing with them. Use with light foods such as poultry, quiche and delicate seafood. Avoid serving with highly seasoned foods that mask the wine's subtle nuances. Best served at cellar temperature 60 Fahrenheit. Each lot of grapes has its own strengths and weaknesses. Each meso climate and viticulturist affects the flavors, acidity, etc. of the grape. Hot Chardonnay vineyards tend to have less acid and pear like flavors. Cool Chardonnay vineyards have more acid and pineapple flovors. Barrel fermenting softens and rounds the wine. Cool fermenting in stainless tanks yields a tart wine with wimpler fruit flavors. Malolactic fermentation adds a butter/butterscotch character and reduces the acidity. Oak gives additional flavors. By the following summer we have a number of very different lots that can be combined; like instruments in an orchestra; to produce our best chardonnay. The unused portions of each lot are then used to produce our Cascade Chardonnay.

1995 Chenin Blanc Vintage: 1995 Brix at Harvest: 21.0 - 22.0 Acid: 0.75 - 0.85 ALC: 11.7% PH: 3.45 Residual Sugar: 2.0% TA: 1.09 Amount: 378 Bottled: 3-1-96 Vineyard: Golden Gables Light crisp body with slight effervesence, delicate fruity flavor of kiwi & mellon with a hint of pineapple & lemon in the nose. Very long finish. Recommended serving temperature: 40-50 Vineyard Selection: Golden Gables is located just south of Othello in the northern Columbia Balley. It is one ot the Valley's coolest meso-climates. The vineyard is high and on a north slope. It has perhaps the latest harvest of "Gerty" in the state. The vineyard has been a chemical free organic vineyard since planting in 1982. It received certification in 1989, the first year of the state program. Winemaker's Notes: Light crisp body with a slight effervesence, delicate fruity flavor of kiwi & mellon with a hint of pineapple & lemon in the nose. Very long finish.

1994 Gewurztraminer Vintage: 1994 Bix at Harvest: 21.0 - 22.0 Acid 0.75 - 0.85 ALC: 13% pH 2.92 Residual Sugar: 1.3% TA: 0.85 Amount: 772 Bottled: 3-15-95 Vineyard: Golden Gables Light Bodied, medium dry, crisp, full fragrant bouquet, light and spicy. Best with: Spicy foods, appetizers, white meat (especially pork). Recommended serving temperature: 40-50 Gewurztraminer is perhaps the most distinctive of the noble varieties. There is no mistaking the flovors of a well made "Gerty". Gewurz is the German word for spice. Gewurztraminer was the stepping stone for Northwest Wines. Andre Tchelistcheff, world renowned wine consultant, tasted a homemade Gewurztraminer from Washington and proclaimed it the best ever made in North America. From four wineries the industry has grown to 90 + wineries Vineyard Selection: Golden Gables is located just south of Othello in the northern Columbia Balley. It is one ot the Valley's coolest meso-climates. The vineyard is high and on a north slope. It has perhaps the latest harvest of "Gerty" in the state. The vineyard has been a chemical free organic vineyard since planting in 1982. It received certification in 1989, the first year of the state program. Winemaker's Notes: Gewurztraminer is the most difficult grape to pick, with only a few days between just right and overripe. The grapes from Golden Gables have a great varietal intensity. We find that not crushing the fruit befor pressing eliminates much of the phenolics (flavor producing compounds in the skins) that can cause Gerty to be harsh and bitter. The wine is fermented at 53 for about 6 weeks. We make a drier style, stopping fermentation at about 1.5 residual sugar. Wine is bottled in April and not released for six months. It is a wine that ages well. I perfer 3 to 4 year old Gerties. Worden's first Gewurztraminer, produced in 1980, is still fabulous at age 15.

1995 Johannisberg Riesling Vintage: 1995 Acid: 0.75 - 0.85 PH: 3.24 ALC: 11.0% TA: 1.15 Residual Sugar: 2.0% Bottled: 3-1-96 Vineyard: Charbonneau Medium bodied, off-dry, balanced acidity, floral bouquet with body, apricot-peach, alfalfa, honey flavors. Excellent finish. Recommended serving temperature: 40-50

1994 Dry Riesling Vintage: 1994 Acid: 0.75 - 0.85 PH: 2.86 ALC: 12.8% TA: 0.96 Residual Sugar: 0.4% Bottled: 5-12-95 Vineyard: Charbonneau Vineyard Selection: Charbonneau Vineyard There are many things that are responsible for an outstanding wine. Vineyard selection is the most important. Worden's Riesling and Chenin Blanc have been the flagship of the winery since its inception. In recent years, our grapes have come from the Charbonneau Vineyard. This site is located on the lower Snake River in the Columbia Valley. The volcanic soil and meso-climate are perfect for these two varieties. Winemaker's Notes: Grapes are harvested from early to mid October at 21 Brix. The juice is fermented at 53 Fahrenheit for 40 - 50 days until the sugar level is at 2% residual sugar. The wine is bottled in February and released 6 weeks later. This Riesling is wonderful in its youth but matures nicely for many years. It is an excellent example of the type described as having apricot-peach-tropical fruit flavors. It works beautiffully with many lighter dishes, one of my favorites with stir fry.

1993 Oyster White Vintage: 1993 ALC: 12.1% Acid: 0.75 - 0.8 Residual Sugar: 0.2% PH: 3.38 ALC: 12.1% TA: 0.87 Amount: 334 Bottled: 9-20-94 Vineyard: Crawford / Charbonneau Semillion 47.5% - Chenin Blanc 47.5% - Winemaker secret 5% Medium bodied, dry, balanced acidity, grassy and hay in the nose with a floral overtone. Long and pleasent finish. Recommended serving temperature: 40-50 Blending is where art takes over science. Centuries of research tell us that wine accompanying fish should have certain measurable character (pH - TA - RS), but what flavors do we want? How does the Semillon from this vineyard work with the Chenin from another? How will it all taste in a year? Semillon and Chenin Blanc are rarely blended. I only know of two others, both in Washington. Winemaker Paul Vandenberg created one of them before Oyster White. Oyster White is sublime with fresh rainbow trout with asparagus (in fact the reason this wine was made). It has also become far and away our favorite turkey wine. Vineyard selection|: Charbonneau/Crawford Vineyard We feel vineyard selection is the primary key to making world class wine. Charbonneau and Crawford Vineyards are fabulous. Both ripen Chenin later in the season. Slow ripening in cool weather develops wonderful flavor and retains acidity. Each vineyard produces a very good vine. Combined they are superb. The Craford Chenin Blanc is fairly high in acid and has a pronounced pineapple character. It has a tremendous impact on the front and mid palate, but is a bit short on the finish. Charbonneau Chenin Blanc is softer with a fabulous middle and finish. Fuller bodied it provides some honey and melon. Perhaps an expression of a warmer site and soil. Charbonneau Semillon is full of tropical fruit flavors and a very light herbal notes. Winemaker's notes: The grapes are picked fully ripe, crushed and pressed with no SO2 addition. The juice is fermented in neutral (8 + year old) barrels to avoid wood flavors. The wines are aged on the lees 7 - 9 months. Malo-lactic fermentation is prevented by low pH or small SO2 additions in spring. Wines are blended and bottled in August. The wonderful sweet perfumey aroma is from the Chenin and is dominant when young. The figgy, tropical fruit, slightly herbal character is the Semillon. These characters take over after a year or two. The wine ages for at least 10 years. The wine is bottle aged for a year before release. I don't care to eat oysters, it's not meant to be an Oyster wine. But there is an aroma reminiscent of the sea or a very fresh oyster. No it doesn't smell fishy!!

1994 Seafare Vintage: 1994 Brix at Harvest: Acid: 0.75 - 0.8 Residual Sugar: 0.2% PH: 2.86 ALC: 12.7% TA: 1.08 Amount: 237 Bottled: 6-7-95 Vineyard: Crawford / Charbonneau Light bodied, dry, crisp flavors with a bouquet of lemon, grass, straw and earth undertones. Recommended serving temperature: 40-50 Winemaker's notes: Light bodied, dry, crisp flavors with a bouquet of lemon, grass, straw and earth undertones. Organic Wines Suncrest Organic Wines Suncrest is the label that was developed for Worden's Winery Organic wine program. Wines from Organically Grown Grapes Worden's Suncrest purchases grapes from Golden Gables Vineyards. The vineyard has been chemical free since planting in 1982. They received certification from the state of Washington in 1989, the first year of the state certification program. In 1994, the Crawford Vineyard started an organic program to provide us Merlot grapes. Unfortunately the 94 vintage was a cery small one for Merlot in Washington. All the Merlot was used in our Cabernet/Merlot. We now look to our '95 vintage as our first organic Merlot. From the '94 vintage we will be producing "Sea Fare" a barrel fermented premium wine designed specifically to accompany fish and shellfish! Processed Organic Food Certificate Worden's/Suncrest received certification as a processor of organic food on May of 1991. We were the first certified organic winery in Washington State. Worden's/Suncrest is not allowed to use any chemicals other than pure sulfur dioxide gas. Low Sulfite Levels Suncrest doesn't add any sulfites before fermentation. Only after the wine is racked and filtered is sulfur dioxide added. Suncrest prepares sulfites on premise by bubbling gas through water and adding that solution to the wine. The sulfite levels are below 100 parts per million (ppm). This is less than 1/3 the amount currently allowed by the American, German and French government regulations. Why add sulfites? Sulfur Dioxide has been used in wine making for over 4,000 years. Why? Because very small quantities (parts per million) protect against wine bacteria that can cause bad flavors. It is very effective in reacting with oxygen to prevent wines from tasting like cheap sherry. Wine can be made without sulfites, but its lifetime is measured in months rather than years. Wines bottled without sulfites will turn brown and have off flavors. Minimal Processing To avoid the need for sulfites we leave the wine resting on the lees after fermentation at a cold temperature. Many wineries immediately reck and filter. As long as the wine is on the lees it is fairly safe from oxidation. We move the wine only once to filter before bottling. This minimal handling allows us to minimize the risks of oxidation and bacterial spoilage. We can then reduce our SO2 usage.

Suncrest Johannisberg Riesling Light body, medium dry, crisp lively gouquet, delicate flavor. Best with: Hot weather foods, most universal food wine, seafood, pasta, white meat on the grill, apple pie. Recommended serving temperature: 40-50 Vineyard Selection: Golden Gables Vineyard Golden Gables vineyard is located southwest of Othello, Washington on a northerly slope. It is one of the Columbia Valleys coolest meso-climates. The vineyard is high and on a north slope. Golden Gables has been chemical free since planting in 1982. They received certification in 1989, the first year of the state program. Winemaker Notes: Riesling in Washington State tends to have either apricot/tropical fruit flavors or be spicy/floral in character. Golden Gables Riesling is of this second spicy/floral type. It produces excellent wine of dry - off dry style. We have chosen to balance the acid with a slight sweetness. We feel this is a Riesling that will continue to develop in the bottle for at least 5 years. It is the perfect wine for light, summer menus. Grapes are harvested in late October. The juice is fermented at 50 - 53 degrees Fahrenheit. The wine is bottled in April and released after several months of bottle age. Starting with the 93 vintage it will be lavled as Dry Riesling. Our style will be slightly drier than the first 3 vintages. The number residual sugar will be smaller than that for acidity (.75 R.S., 1.0 T.A.)

Suncrest Gewurztraminer light bodied, medium dry, crisp, full fragrant bouquet, light and spicy. Best with: Spicy foods, appetizers, white meat (especially pork). Recommended werving temperature: 40-50 Gewurztraminer Gewurztraminer is perhaps the most distinctive of the noble varieties. There is no mistaking the flovors of a well made "Gerty". Gewurz is the German word for spice. Gewurztraminer was the stepping stone for Northwest Wines. Andre Tchelistcheff, world renowned wine consultant, tasted a homemade Gewurztraminer from Washington and proclaimed it the best ever made in North America. From four wineries the industry has grown to 90 + wineries Vineyard Selection: Golden Gables is located just south of Othello in the northern Columbia Balley. It is one ot the Valley's coolest meso-climates. The vineyard is high and on a north slope. It has perhaps the latest harvest of "Gerty" in the state. The vineyard has been a chemical free organic vineyard since planting in 1982. It received certification in 1989, the first year of the state program. Winemaker's Notes: Gewurztraminer is the most difficult grape to pick, with only a few days between just right and overripe. The grapes from Golden Gables have a great varietal intensity. We find that not crushing the fruit befor pressing eliminates much of the phenolics (flavor producing compounds in the skins) that can cause Gerty to be harsh and bitter. The wine is fermented at 53 for about 6 weeks. We make a drier style, stopping fermentation at about 1.5 residual sugar. Wine is bottled in April and not released for six months. It is a wine that ages well. I perfer 3 to 4 year old Gerties. Worden's first Gewurztraminer, produced in 1980, is still fabulous at age 15.


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