Wallula Biodynamic vertical
We were hosting a biodynamic tasting at our offices in Portland. Pacific Rim was pouring a vertical of Wallula Vineyard Biodynamic Rieslings (picture above). This was an opportunity for me to taste through the first three vintages (2007-2008-2009) of the magnificent Wallula Vineyard and reflect on our winemaking and our progress. Remember that those wines are biodynamic wines (vs made from biodynamic grapes) which is pretty rare as I saw yesterday where most of the producers present were pouring made from biodynamic grapes wines. Nothing is added to those wines (no yeast, no acid, no nothing) and they are certified biodynamic. Wallula is probably one of the most thoughtful Riesling planting in the USA with a special trellis system, German clones and all biodynamically farmed (http://rieslingrules.com/the_book/about-our-wines/biodynamic-winemaking-at-pacific-rim/).
2007 Wallula Riesling BioD: It was our first year and were still learning about selecting the best rows and We might have picked a bit late. The resulting wine is very nice though may be missing some acid and it is rich in alcohol. It is rebalanced by a very low residual sugar (0.7%?). Overall a great wine but not the best we have made I would think. Would love to taste this in 5 years to see how it is aging.
2008 Wallula Riesling BioD: This was a cool vintage and also the first vintage we started to pick the grapes at different time (fractionnal picking). The wine was difficult to ferment and stuck at 1.2% residual sugar. It is a more complex version with some serious aging potential.
2009 Wallula Riesling BioD: Whao, may be our best vintage. It is zippy (we picked quite early) with a lower ethanol content (12.5%). We started to stop the fermentation early for a fraction of the blend so we could use that fraction to blend back into a dry fraction aged on lees. This technique seems to be very appropriate for our conditions. This is a complex and hedgy wine. Very interesting and thoughtful.
Overall this was a solid line up and I could taste the vineyard through each wine. The common thread reflecting the site was the lovely floral nose of each wine. The importance of the picking date and the amount of fractionnal picking (picking the same vineyard at different rippeness levels) really had a tremendous impact. I can’t wait to do a 10 year vertical with the press to taste what I think is one of the most thoughtful Riesling in North America.