Hiyu 2018 Aesalon, Columbia Gorge White Wine
This was released in January. It’s from a half-acre block of vines on a small east facing slope in the SE corner of the property. It’s the coolest part of the property and when we planted it to a mix of grapes grown on the coasts of Spain and Portugal we expected the wine to bright, fresh and easy.... delicious, but not particularly intense or complex. It could not have turned out more differently than we had planned. Since the first vintage in 2016 this has been the white with the most intense aromatics: it’s textural, wild, full of energy and tannic power. . . . In the first two vintages the wine saw about four days of skin contact, before being pressed by foot in an old, wooden, ratchet press. In 2016 we, made only a single 205L champagne cask and released it in the fall of 2017. The 17 vintage is in a 400L cask and is still slowly consuming the last few grams of sugar. . . The planting is filled with grapes of many different hues: gold, straw, green, pink and speckled orange. In 18 we couldn’t resist the temptation to leave the wine on the skins for the duration of the fermentation. We picked the grapes in FYB’s and placed them directly into a wooden fermenter. They were left untouched for about 10 days and then, when the fermentation had reached a feverish pitch and the skins were beginning to burst we began to gently tread. The wine was pressed after a month directly to a 500l puncheon and we bottled a year later by hand from the cask. It is the first true “orange” wine that we’ve released to date.