We are happy to announce the release of our 2017 Belharra Rosé and our 2015 Belharra Las Madres Syrah! Both hailing from the cool-climate Las Madres Vineyards of the Sonoma Carneros, we are continually impressed with the consistency of quality from our flagship vineyard. With our 5th vintage safely tucked in barrel, we are starting to see the truth in what the proprietors and our cohort winemakers know about this vineyard: no matter how dynamic the growing season the fruit is always expressive and pure.
Vintage 2015 brought an early wind-event in the Carneros that disrupted some of the flowering process at Las Madres. The result was a “hens and chicks” disparity in berry development that cut yields. The remainder of the growing season was favorable and uneventful, and the dark-purple fruit was harvested mid-September and passed through an optical sorter. Fermented 16-days in open-top fermenters with gentle punchdowns, we aged in roughly 30% new oak for 18-months, and bottled in March of 2017.
Recent drives to Las Madres have been a marvel of renewal, as the Carneros region continues to clean up from October wildfires. Thanks to fire crews the vineyard and buildings were spared, with the scorched hillsides a visual reminder of those that weren’t so lucky. All our grapes were picked at this point, and safe in the winery high above the smoke. Other than the stressful and hectic harvest that punctuated 2017, it was a fantastic growing year with a return to wet winters and a normal fruit set. Our Rosé was picked at the end of August and immediately pressed. A cool, slow fermentation locked in the fruit and freshness of the wine, and it was bottled in early February.
As our mailing list continues to expand, we expect demand on both of these wines will exhaust supply quickly. Orders will ship weather-permitting at the end of March, please reach out with any special requests. Check your supply of 2016 “The Search” Chardonnay, as our cases dwindle. For our Bay Area customers, remember we offer free delivery! Thanks to all for the continued support of Belharra. We are very excited about upcoming opportunities for new vineyards and varietals this vintage, stay tuned!
Anne and Camille