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How to Bordeaux . WAWGG February 2008 Gordon Hill . Washington in the early 80’. Maps comparing Washington to France Latitude = comparable growing conditions The need to compare, no history for Washington wines, Bordeaux became benchmark. Similar Growing Conditions?.

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how to bordeaux

How to Bordeaux

WAWGG February 2008

Gordon Hill

washington in the early 80
Washington in the early 80’
  • Maps comparing Washington to France
  • Latitude = comparable growing conditions
  • The need to compare, no history for Washington wines,
  • Bordeaux became benchmark
harvest decisions
Harvest decisions
  • Optimum ripe fruit was 23.5 brix, would pick 22.5- 24.0
  • Wines therefore had similar alcohols and acids to French wines
perfect climate
“Perfect Climate”
  • New goal “make worlds best wine from Columbia valley fruit”
  • I (we ?) no longer compare Washington wines and measure them against Bordeaux wines.
  • Because……..
evolution of wine grape growing
Evolution of wine grape growing
  • Realized Washington has its own unique grape growing climate
  • Water management as tool to control canopies and crop size
  • Unique appellations and site selection
  • Experience of Wine grape growers and Winemakers
riper grapes
Riper grapes
  • Riper fruit at harvest as measured by brix leads to distinct Columbia Valley fruit and wine characteristics
  • Softer acids, higher etoh, ripe tannins helps us achieve wines with fruit forward characters and distinct softness on palate
  • We can wait to pick because of our harvest conditions
washington bordeaux
Washington Bordeaux
  • Blending of varietals
  • Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
  • Newer tools (varietals) Malbec and Petite Verdot
washington bordeaux1
Washington Bordeaux
  • Blend wines from different appellations as each AVA can have its own unique characters
  • Main factors within an AVA (vineyard)
    • Aspect or slope
    • Soil, type, depth
    • Wind exposure
    • Wine grape grower water and canopy management, crop size
horse heaven hills
Horse Heaven Hills
  • Vineyards with closer river proximity are softer fruit forward good to use for fruit impression front palate.
  • Vineyards with less sand and more loam can be highly structured, robust, deeply colored, provides a long finish.
wahluke slope
Wahluke Slope
  • Warm growing area
  • Many of the wines are fruit forward with jammy ripe characters, dark colors, soft tannins, provide soft tannins to middle of palate.
red mountain
Red Mountain
  • Warm growing area
  • Big wines deeply colored, add structure “backbone”, finish is long, and flavors of ripe dark stone fruits,
walla walla
Walla Walla
  • Many unique vineyard sites and soil types.
  • Most have deep rich soils with some slope
  • Recently the rocky areas are being planted.
  • Elegant wines with finesse, dried herbs, pomegranate, dusty malt
yakima valley
Yakima Valley
  • Most vineyard sites on South facing slopes
  • Wines have bright fruits, soft tannins, harmonius middle palate, “quaffability factors”
  • Use to flesh out front and middle palates, bring up fruit notes
columbia valley
Columbia Valley
  • Tri City 3 Rivers area
  • Good source to get grapes from older vineyards
  • Wines vary in styles from fruit forward to dark complex, lots of good black cherry aromas and flavors, ripe plum notes Merlot,
ava blending strategy
AVA blending strategy
  • 20% HH CS: structure, finish
  • 20% RM CS: structure, finish
  • 15% WS MR: ripe fruit middle palate
  • 5% WS PV: color aroma finish
  • 20% WW MR: elegance finesse
  • 20% YV MR: bright fruit drink ability
  • 5% CV MB: color, entry and middle
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