2016 Black Russian Red
McGregor Saperavi: America's first success with Saperavi. Hands down, this is a pinnacle vintage for this wine and complexity is its strong suit. Its intriguing aroma is built upon cherry, stewed plums, and blackberries; these expansive aromatics are joined with suggestions of pepper, fresh flowers, lightly toasted marshmallow, and ripe elderberries. The wine is palate-filling, very rich, and smooth with well developed tannins. It has tart fruit flavors without any bite- cranberry, elderberry, and black currants. This ripe wine finishes long and smooth with the oak sitting nicely in the background. It’s a young wine with a beautiful future. Drink now through 2030.
Two separate parcels of estate grown Saperavi & Sereksiya Charni were harvested by hand for this Black Russian Red. The first batch of 4.1 tons was harvested on October 4, 2016 and had 23.2 brix natural sugar, 9.0 g/l and a 3.22 pH. The following day, 2.05 tons were harvested with 23.6 brix, 10.1 g/l TA and 3.68 pH. The grapes from each batch were destemmed, crushed, and inoculated with yeast.
Fermentations lasted for 10 days at 66-80 degrees. The must completed 100% malolactic fermentation. The must was pressed, the wines were blended and then transferred into a combination of new and 3-6 year old American oak barrels. The wine was filtered and bottled on July 16, 2019 with 7.1 g/l TA, 3.58 pH, 14.0% alcohol and 0.5% residual sugar. 233 cases produced.
This is shaping up to be a “classic” vintage of Black Russian Red. Saperavi is the primary grape of this wine and it is blended with a touch of the Moldovan grape, Sereksiya Charni. Aromas of black currant, black berry, sweet oak, spice and smoke follow through beautifully on the palate. There are some nice plum and coconut flavors blended in as well. Silky tannins coat the palate and lend to a very pleasant, long finish.
Pair with short ribs, rack of lamb, grilled Delmonico steaks, flourless dark chocolate torte and the Kubdari recipe in this newsletter. Drink now through 2035.