2014 First Label Riesling (Virgin Berry)
This limited production, Dry Riesling offers a balanced acidity that is matched by the fruit concentration which reflects the warm climate of the North Fork. Intensely aromatic and full bodied with a dry finish, this wine shows flavors of fresh apricot and pear skins. Wine Enthusiast: 90 PTS
2014 harvest was marked by the largest grape crop in Long Island history across the region. Strangely this was experienced by all growers and across all grape varieties, often up to 5 tons/acre on both white and red varieties. Farmers are always happy about a big crop, and many take as much as they can, but to produce high quality wines you often have to control the crop to achieve ripe flavors and balanced chemistry. At Raphael we chose early, after a cool summer to drop fruit in most of the vineyard and adjust the crop to levels where we felt could achieve the best results.
2014 started out with a cold winter and a lot of snow, a very late spring and bud break. Overall the growing season, June to August, was very dry with drought conditions across the region by August, growers who could irrigated regularly. Meanwhile temperatures were well below normal producing a beautiful summer of cool temperatures and low humidity for beachgoers. For about 6 weeks from mid August to the end of September we experienced no rainfall with what felt like early fall days with very cold nights below 50 F (even in August) but warm days in the 70’s. This produced great disease free conditions for ripening our early varieties of white wine grapes and Pinot Noir by retaining natural acidity and producing ripe flavors.
The ripening season September to November overall was cool and a bit wet but because of an overall cool year and larger crops all varieties were delayed in ripening. Many grapes were picked much later than normal with much of the red wine crop harvested in November. A late warm spell and no frost allowed us to hang red grapes until the second week of November while continuing to accumulate flavors. For us the wines from 2014 show exceptional natural balanced chemistry and ripeness which has made us excited about the quality and the future longevity of the 2014 Vintage!
“Virgin Berry’s” (ripe unfertilized seedless berries), are hand harvested individually, separately from the remaining Riesling and pressed very gently. The juice was fermented using naturally occurring indigenous yeasts from the grape skins. Fermentation was carried out cold at 50F and lasted 3 weeks. This wine is un-oaked with no Malo-Lactic Fermentation. The wine was blended then bentonite fined for heat stability, cold stabilized and sterile filtered before bottling.
|Dimensions||3 x 3 x 12 in|
Wine Enthusiast 90 PTS