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How long should I age this?


KJNJan2013

When asked the question, “How long should I age this wine?” I undoubtedly cringe. One of the truly beautiful things about the enjoyment of wine is that we all enjoy wine for different reasons at different points along the aging process. One of the personal hazards of my job as winemaker is that I am forced to taste wines (rough job, I know!) brutally tannic and direct from the fermenter through the barrel aging and into blending and bottling.  My morning coffee drink is a quad shot non-fat latte, no sugar, so it should be no surprise that I like wines on the young side  with a deep understanding and appreciation of rough edges. The Markham wines show elegantly from the beginning, usually only occasionally requiring a swirl of air on the big boys. However with bottle aging of 2-3 years, our wines are lush, velvety and seamless. This is my target since most wines are purchased and consumed during that time frame. At 8-10 years, I find our wines really are at peak as they still have abundant fruit but also have relaxed into a harmonious middle life (much like myself). The big boy wines with big tannin structure will most certainly age upwards of twenty years, but why delay in gratification as my favorite wines are always just around the next vintage!

- Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls

Fall Arrives, Harvest Ends



Wolleson-ZNThere comes a point in October when you truly know that Fall has arrived. For me, it is that chill in the morning air coupled with the scent of burning leaves. It was on such a morning that I decided harvest was over and we picked the remaining 2012 vintage just like that. What a quick journey this vintage has been for us at Markham! Unlike pomp & circumstance at the start, the end is quiet and subdued standing at the crush pad with my associate winemaker and cellar master saying good-bye.

Of course there is SO much for which to be thankful. We will be busy pressing out reds until close to Thanksgiving as the estate Cabernet continue to languish on their skins for a full 30+ days. Our red wines are dark and intense in a vintage that has lived up to the hype. The intoxicating aromas of yeast, banana and pineapple waft throughout the winery as they escape the chilly Chardonnay cellar only mid-way through barrel fermentation. We’re working on some new projects one involving Muscat and the other with old vine Zinfandel just for fun. I’m smiling and I am not alone!

-Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls

 

Harvest 2012 Is Well Underway


Sampling-Grapes

Always our favorite time of the year here at the winery - visiting with excited growers who look to us to turn their precious fruit into something amazing.  We’ve been rocking through our Sauvignon Blanc harvest and filling the often chaotic fermentation cellar with citrus, pineapple and yeasty aromas.  The early mornings seem quiet in comparison, alone in the vineyards where I can see what is yet to come...

Speaking of what is yet to come, the Merlot berries taste unreal out in the field.  Gone are the usual early herbaceous notes, instead sweet cherry fruit and huge tannins hint at something spectacular…I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

- Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls