It all started in the spring of 2004. We found that the addition of a very small amount of riesling lees had a very salutary effect on the 2003 Cardinal Zin, giving it added dimension and persistence, and allowing it to support its alcohol more elegantly. Lees is the sediment which precipitates when a wine has been allowed to clarify. The relevant component of lees for the purposes of this therapy is the dead yeast cells which autolyse - that is, break apart by the action of enzymes and other substances inside the yeast cells themselves and release various compounds into the wine which significantly affect its flavor. Right. So we added riesling lees to rougly 1/4 of the entire blend to see what would happen. We neglected one teeny weeny little detail in overlooking the fact that the riesling in question was from Washington State, rendering that portion of the blend technically non-vintage. The 3/4 portion not receiving therapy was bottled as the 2003 normale. This 1/4 of the blend was denominated 3002, mostly as an exercise in seeing if the TTB pays any attention whatsoever to our filings. The label was miraculously approved. HA!
As one might expect, the Yeastly Bold Vines is substantially richer than the normale, more complex and undeniably more savory. The lees therapy notwithstanding, this is still zinfandel and will quickly note the familiar flavors of strawberry preserves, bright plum and a few dashes of allspice."
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