Way in the back reaches of the Rogue Valley’s Applegate Valley AVA one will find the certified-biodynamically farmed, innovative and cutting-edge Troon Vineyard. An excellent example is the winery’s superb “Amber”, or “orange” white wine!
The three components for the 2021 Kubli Bench Amber – Vermentino (50%) Riesling (40%) and Roussanne (10%) – were grown and harvested with the intention to make this skin-fermented “orange” or amber wine. Riesling provides ample aromatics to the final blend, along with a surprising quantity of structural tannins. Skin-fermented Vermentino adds richness, depth and spice, while Roussanne brings fruitiness, acidity, and additional layers of phenolic texture.
Because they are being grown for amber wines, we performed extra leaf removal on these vines in the vineyard to allow for more sun penetration into the fruiting zone, further developing the skin tannins of the grapes. These grapes were then harvested at slightly riper sugar levels with significantly enhanced phenolic development as compared to the same grapes harvested for a white wine.
Due to their varying ripening times, each variety was harvested and fermented separately in open top fermenters outdoors, typically with about 30% whole-cluster inclusion. Fermentations generally reach dryness in 3-4 weeks, after which they are pressed to neutral oak barrels, including a small number of acacia barrels, for aging and spontaneous malolactic fermentation. The wine stays in barrel until just before bottling, when it is racked to stainless steel tank and a small amount of SO2 is added. It is then bottled unfined and unfiltered. – winemaker Nate Wall