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Fall 2021 Note from the Wine Maker:

Insieme Wines 2021 Fall release marks an even more exciting moment in our lives.  We have officially moved into our new home in Oceanside, NY.  As we start our first vintage in our new digs we’d like to extend a special thank you for all the support we’ve received from our loyal and wonderful customers.  We’re looking forward to making new friends in our new community.  We’re also introducing some new wines from Clarksburg, CA.  These wines have been years in the making and represent a series of wines from a slightly cooler area with less hills.  It’s a new AVA for us and looks like it has the dirt to produce some very approachable but impactful wines.  You may see more of them in the future.  As always, so many decisions were made over the last several years in order to craft our new releases.  Let me walk you through those decisions and help you enjoy these special wines… 



2016 Ricordi Signature Blend

 

2016 Ricordi Signature Blend

It’s back and WOW!  The 2016 “Ricordi” Signature Blend does not fall short in any way.  Ricordi (Italian for memories) reminds us with each sip why we do this wine thing.  It’s a BIG wine with so many flavors.  Here’s the problem… for such a big wine it still goes down easy.  It has enough acidity to carry the weight and alcohol.  And, just enough oak to make you wonder.  With 48 months of new and neutral French oak the tannins are present but not overreaching.  This wine picks up just enough backbone from barrel but carries it quietly after sitting in neutral tank for 24 months.   It changes over time to such a degree; you have to experience it for yourself.  It has blackcurrant, blackberry, bilberry.  It has vanilla, almond, prune and violets.  The merlot brings a roundness to it that makes you want to chew it vs. drink it.  The malbec drops just enough bright fruit and lightness of heart to keep your palate stimulated.  And after all that… about an hour into it you’ll finish with toast and leather.   When we meet in the tasting room you can ask me for my business card or a bottle of 2016 Ricordi.  It’s the same thing!

 

2016 Tempranillo

 

2016 Tempranillo 

Tempranillo is another one of these understated varietals here in North America.  Don’t say that in Spain as it’s one of their Signature Grapes.  If you’re not sure what it is then just think Rioja, Spain.  That should get you most of the way there.  If that doesn’t then think fresh dill and cherries.  Dill?  Sounds weird right, but not in wine.  This wine comes from a family farm that’s a few generations in the making in Calrksburg, CA.  Clarksburg (Yolo County) has a slightly cooler setting and not many hills.  The benefit of that is the wines are generally softer and less tannic.  It was aged for several years with fairly neutral oak so as to not mask the cherries and dill.   I’d say that we made this wine because I love the wines of Rioja (which I do) but the truth is Jessica insisted we make it… Tempranillo is one of her all-time favorites and the winemaker has to eat.

 

2016 Malbec

 

2016 Malbec 

Malbec tends be looked at as a cheaper wine or a wine just used for blending.  But man is it picking up steam on the East and West coasts.  As a signature grape of Argentina it is full of flavor and rich color, but underrepresented here in the USA (in my opinion).  Another one of our offerings from Clarksburg; it’s soft with silky tannins and drinks well right out the gate.  It was aged for several years with fairly neutral oak and a 10% Tempranillo blend (for that subtle hint of dill).  It has nice flavors of dark cherry and blackberry.  The light regimen of oak adds just a few layers of chocolate, vanilla and leather.  It’s funny how oak can do that.  But remember this about oak… less is more! 

 

2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

 

2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

What can I say… We love Cabernet.  Another beauty from Clarksburg.  This wine has some age on it as well but drinks beautifully.  Unlike our other Cabernets or Cabernet blends this wine screams for less oak.  From an area with cooler temperatures and more water it’s not built for high impact but for subtlety and charm.  Let me be clear… it’s got tannins, but they’re soft and supple and not scorching with oak.  Yes, it has the usual dark berries, violets, cedar and dark chocolate but also has some nice herbal and toffee notes.  You only get this balance by not tipping the scales of oak justice too far.  This one is for those folks who love Cabernet Sauvignon and don’t mind a second or third pour.  It’s that easy going!

 

2017 Super Tuscan

 

2017 Super Tuscan

This wine is the “Big Brother” to our Sangiovese.  This wine drinks more like a Brunello than some Brunello’s do.  And, with the prices of good Brunello skyrocketing, I thought to myself… better figure something out fast!  As I’ve stated so many times before… North Americans love Super Tuscan blends and so do we.  But vintners often forget the beauty and subtlety of Sangiovese.  Either too much oak aging or too much blending tend to strip the beauty out of these wines.  Having the varietal characteristics of Sangiovese balanced alongside Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t easy.  Then balance the nuances of oak, oofah.  How do we do it?  Well we start with somewhere around 60% or more Sangiovese that’s been fermented dry and macerated for extended periods of time.  We stick it in fairly neutral tanks to preserve those flavor characteristics.  We blend in our Merlot and Cabernet that each have moderate but still slightly more oak influence.  We age it like they do in Italy… 3 years or more in larger tanks, with touches of American oak and barrels that have held a vintage or two of wine.  If you’d like to try this at home… muddle some oregano, cherries and rose petals then stew some plums and smoke it all with some herbs.    Or grab a 2017 Il Toscano! Decant! And enjoy!

 


Note from the Winemaker Fall 2020:

Insieme Wines 2020 Fall release marks an exciting moment for us all.  Despite having to contend with a harvest plagued with Covid-19 restrictions, disruptions such as trucking and fires throughout California; we still count ourselves blessed and grateful to have the loyal customers we have and to do what we love.   With many new wines on offer I thought it would be a good idea to send you all a note to help guide you.  Many decisions were made over the last several years in order to craft the wines currently in our line-up.  I’d like to walk you through some of those to help frame an understanding of our wines and why we consider them so special. 
 


2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Release Date 11/7/2020

2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Fall of 2020 marks the return of our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  Aged in new oak for a full 22 months; it represents a full-bodied and powerful California Cabernet.  Coming from a dry farmed ranch, this fruit is held to under two tons per acre.  This is quite unheard of in California and mostly reserved for only a few choice locations.  It’s worth every penny above many other locations.  Nestled between the Vaca Mountains and Howell Mountains it rests just on the Napa Valley County line and enjoys cooling inland winds to allows for longer maturation.   Elevated off the valley floor; this sight specific plot produces a concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon that can easily handle a full barrel regimen and still deliver fruit and oak tannin that is very complex but approachable.  This wine is drinkable now, but benefits from decanting.  It will age gracefully for a decade with great ease.

 

2017 Sangiovese

Release Date 11/7/2020

2017 Sangiovese

The old saying, “The parts are worth more than the whole”, couldn’t ring more true than our 2017 Sangiovese.  North Americans have become obsessed with Super Tuscan blends (so have we by the way) but have forgotten how subtle Sangiovese can be on its own.  For many years I drank Chianti because it was all I could afford.  But then I realized something… Sangiovese can produce something quite special.  Subtle, delicate and nuanced is the way of this grape.  At about 90% Sangiovese, our 2017 showcases this varietal’s special characteristics.  Think about taking oregano and muddling in cherries and then crushing in some rose petals.  It sounds crazy but seems to work well in a wine glass.  Add a little neutral barrel aging; so as to not corrupt this balance and voila… the principal component of our Super Tuscan blend now carries a value of its own.  Oak influence on this wine and our Super Tuscan blend tend towards American Oak, but somewhat neutral barrel.  We like to age it like they do in Italy… 3 years or more, with touches of American oak and barrels that have held a vintage or two of wine.  Decant and enjoy!

 

2017 Cabernet Franc

Release Date 11/7/2020

2017 Cabernet Franc

Since this is our first Cabernet Franc I wanted to tell you why we decided to make it.  Simply put, It’s Awesome.  And, it’s from Washington.  This varietal has always been a personal favorite of mine, so why not make it and share it.  A varietal that carries its own notes of pepper and spice, it only receives a delicate amount of oak aging; somewhere in the 50% new barrel equivalent.  How does that happen?  We use a combination of new oak for small quantities, neutral tank for the rest and then blend it all prior to bottling.  Why bother?  Taste it and you’ll find a soft subtle wine with ample but very smooth tannins.  The fruit plays with undertones of spice, tree bark and oil cured olives as it ebbs and flows.  Washington State’s Wahluke Slope is a great place for Cabernet Franc.  It’s one of the hottest regions in Washington but still cooler in general.  This allows for full ripening of the fruit without burning out the varietal characteristics.  At 13.5% alcohol by volume, significantly lower than averages we see elsewhere in California, it’s more Bordeaux than North America. 

 

2018 Petite Syrah

Release Date 11/7/2020

2018 “Early Release” Petite Syrah

Petite Syrah is coming into its own in North America.  Historically used for blending, it’s now finding its way onto shelves and cellars as a straight varietal.  We’ve always loved it for what it is… perfumed, rich and we simply couldn’t resist it any longer.  Why are we calling this our “Early Release”?  Like so many grapes, this one too has its very own unique profile.  Naturally rich in color and tannins it can certainly handle barrel aging.  But, can certainly produce a high caliber wine on its own.  So we made a total of 430 gallons.  Then pulled 130 gallons out of oak after 24 months (Early) and left the remainder in barrel to age longer.  You’ll have to wait for that one.  This wine needs to breath to really hit its stride, so don’t be afraid to decant. 

 

2018 Sauvignon Blanc

Release Date 11/7/2020

2018 Sauvignon Blanc

When I think of Sauvignon Blanc I never lose sight that it is considered one of the “Noble” grapes.  Therefore, we treat it accordingly.  We believe its greatness lies in the beauty of its sun-drenched skins.  In 2018 the grapes were received, destemmed, crushed and soaked in large vats for 24 hours.  We then pressed out the delicate juice.  With so much grape skin tannin to work with you’ll find some subtle nuances to our Sauvignon Blanc.  For starters the color is rich and golden.  The mouthfeel is as rich as it looks.  A small portion of this wine was aged in French oak barrels to enhance and play off the natural grape tannins.  While still a fresh crisp white, it possesses a rich balance of tropical fruit with nice herbal undertones all wrapped in a golden hue.   

 

2020 Dry Riesling

Release Date 10/29/2021

2020 DRY Riesling

When I think of Sauvignon Blanc I never lose sight that it is considered one of the “Noble” grapes.  Therefore, we treat it accordingly.  We believe its greatness lies in the beauty of its sun-drenched skins.  In 2018 the grapes were received, destemmed, crushed and soaked in large vats for 24 hours.  We then pressed out the delicate juice.  With so much grape skin tannin to work with you’ll find some subtle nuances to our Sauvignon Blanc.  For starters the color is rich and golden.  The mouthfeel is as rich as it looks.  A small portion of this wine was aged in French oak barrels to enhance and play off the natural grape tannins.  While still a fresh crisp white, it possesses a rich balance of tropical fruit with nice herbal undertones all wrapped in a golden hue.   

 

All the red wines noted here are unfined and unfiltered.  We always take the approach that you take what the grapes give you and you leave it in there.  Our long aging process does most of the refining work for us.  Our fermentation process typically lasts 3 to 4 weeks.  We are true believers of extended maceration to maximize extraction.  We use minimum amounts of sulfites in our wines or just a fraction of what commercial standards call for. 

We hope you enjoy each sip as much we do.  Saluti!

Massimo DeVellis

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