100% estate-grown Scheurebe from our Spring Valley Ranch Vineyard in St. Helena.
Grapes were picked at an average of 21.9˚ Brix and frozen to minus 5˚ F. The grapes were then partially thawed, allowing the concentrated juice high in sugar levels to be released, while leaving ice crystals behind with the skins when pressed. Over several hours of slow, gentle pressing, the juice achieved a sugar content of 34.0º Brix and was fermented in a stainless steel tank to 22.6% residual sugar and 8% alcohol before bottling in February, 2012.
The 2011 Eisrébe has lush aromatics of dried apricots, jasmine, honeysuckle and hints of Asian pear followed by layers of fragrant honey, juicy pineapple and well integrated acidity on the palate.
Overall, the 2011 growing season was cool. Winter was fairly dry, yet spring and early summer rains brought quite a bit of moisture to help replenish the soil. This led to the Scheurebe bud break being a week behind the 2010 vintage. Bloom and veraison were similar to 2010, though our actual pick dates for Scheurebe fell one week later.
In 1994, the desire to produce an “ice wine,” or Eiswein, as it is called in Germany, prompted Joseph Phelps Vineyards to adopt a unique program whereby Scheurebe grapes would be picked late in the season and then frozen, thus concentrating their high sugar levels. The resulting wine was called “Eisrébe,” a play on the German words Eis (ice) and Rebe (vine).