The SOMM Journal

April / May 2018

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{ } 63 "Riverview already produces incredible wines for our Metz Road label and our 2O15 vintage was wonderful. The 2O16 was even better, so I predict this evaluation of clones and yeast for the 2O17 vintage will become a benchmark for the wine's style." —Scheid Family Wines Director of Winemaking Dave Nagengast emphasized Metz Road's desire to capture the native yeast. "To do so, fermentation started out in the field," he continued. "We put our press and our barrels out there and we just let it get going. When we brought it back to the winery and ran some DNA testing, we found seven to 14 different yeast strains doing the fermentation and only one commercial yeast. We think this will give us not only an increased level of complex - ity but also a real sense of terroir." In the bottlings we tasted, the difference between na- tive fermentation versus commercial yeast was striking, as was the contrast between a more intense canopy management program versus a less aggressive approach. While the Chardonnays are all stunning now, the Pi - nots—still undergoing a teenage rebellious stage—tee- tered just on the edge of seizing their full palate power. The winer y is in the midst of attaining a legally-bonded space in the vineyard to generate fermentation using na- tive yeast for future vintages, and we're anxious to watch the trials continue to fruition: Follow the journey with us and watch for more updates in later issues. Tasting Notes: Riverview Vineyard Pinot Noir Traditional Fermentation, Pommard Base: This wine shows cooked cherries and cinnamon on the nose and offers up a savory flavor profile with tilled soil, tomato leaf, and cigar. Native Yeast, Pommard Clone: On the heels of heather, brush, and peppered cherry, this finishes with a dry minerality. One Cluster, Pommard Clone: Roses are present on the nose and palate. This is more feminine than the first two Pommards, but it's more of an Earth Mother than a ballet dancer. The wine finishes with slate, tobacco, and jasmine, but the darker cherry fruit and lush mouthfeel make this memorable. Traditional Fermentation, Clone 115: This Dijon clone shows more structure but also has a lean quality. The bright, carmine hue is deeper than the Pommard examples and the fruit is exquisite and lively, but deeper. Plum and boysenberry take the place of the red fruits, and a touch of briar is in the textural mix. Spiced floral notes bring things together on the finish. Native Yeast, Clone 115: This wine has a complex, yeasty char - acter that Nagengast expects to mellow out as it ages. Deep and earthy with animale and dark, brooding fruit. One Cluster, Clone 115: This bottling is earthy to the core with pronounced acidity and a leafy cherrywood nose, but it needs more time to develop.

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