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Raphael First Label Sauvignon Blanc

Raphael First Label Sauvignon Blanc

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Product Description

Harvest 2016 will be remembered for its low Brix levels across the region and all varieties which makes for moderate alcohol levels in the wine. The winter was very mild even warm at times, causing many plants to start to push early or animals to become active. But just one weekend of subzero temperatures was enough to cause some vine damage and killed our bee hives. Spring was cool and wet, even with a mild winter we had a very late bud break, flowering and fruit set. June was mild and vegetative growth was slow. We quickly caught up in July with 90+F temperatures and oppressive humidity lasting the entire month and through August. With very hot and extremely humid conditions we have not seen in mid-summer since 2010. Fortunately, some large and timely rain events kept us out of the drought conditions experienced upstate and throughout New England. The Fall ripening season was overall warmer than average particularly at night through September, which lowered acid levels in some cases quite fast. Flavors progressed normally and if you had clean fruit and a good canopy ripeness was good. We even had a late October warm spell where it was into the 80’s Overall fruit set was good, yields were heavy with good ripeness but the season was extremely challenging, and took extra care. We had early grape berry moth pressure due to a warm winter, a very humid summer caused late season downy mildew which defoliated some vineyards. Botrytis pressure was very low this year, due to low brix. However Sour Rot was prevalent due to warm weather into the harvest season and lowering acid levels, spread by birds and fruit flies prior to the cold nights setting in. Picking decisions were made on fruit flavors and acid levels which had to be closely monitored, as sugar levels were not an indication of ripeness. The quality of the whites from 2016 are very good, with ripe flavors and nice balance; particularly sparkling wines, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. This will surely also be a Rose’ year, moderate sugar levels allowed fruit to hang and get nice flavors and still have balanced chemistry for rose’. The reds have good fruit flavors but lack some depth and structure required for reserve wines. The noticeable exception is Merlot which highlights the importance of the varietal to our region. Our fresher style reds are elegant with ripe soft tannins and bright fruit flavors, balanced with low alcohol and nice acidity.

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