2017 Vintage

In 2017, we doubled down on fruit! Adding to the Cabernet and Syrah from 2016, we are producing 2 different single vineyard designate Cabernet Sauvignons, a Syrah, and a Rosé. The cab's come from Firethorn Vineyard again, and Double Canyon. Also from Double Canyon Vineyard is our ton of Syrah, and we added a new Syrah contract for Rosé through Destiny Ridge Vineyard. In total, the 2017 harvest equated to 7 barrels Firethorn Cab, 3 barrels Double Canyon Cab, 3.5 barrels Double Canyon Syrah, and 2 barrels Destiny Ridge Rosé. The red wines were all inoculated and fermented in open top 48S 1.5 ton vessels with daily punch downs until completely dry, different yeast strains are fermented separately and then blended to develop rich textures and complex flavor profiles.

The Rosé of Syrah was lightly stomped on to begin and allowed to sit for 8 hours on the skins before pressing. The pressed juice wad transferred to two neutral barrels and inoculated with RP15 yeast and barrel fermented for almost 45 days. The barrel fermentation offered a rich creamy texture to the finished wine and a touch of baking spice.

The Rosé was bottled in March and released on May 6th, just in time for the Oregon spring.

 

2016 Vintage

In 2016, The Cabernet Sauvignon will remain the same, 2 tons from Echo Oregon's FireThorn Vineyard, Grass Widow Block rows A54 - A56. The only thing that will change here in the future is the tonnage, as we look forward to expanding this contract. A big "thanks" to Jay, Kim, and Billo for managing this family vineyard.

We are also very excited to debut a new Washington State Syrah. This new fruit will come from Double Canyon Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, located just 6 miles north from the Columbia River (it sits right next door to the famed Champoux Vineyard). The 90 acre vineyard of sandy loam soils is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petite Verdot, and Syrah. We would enjoy future opportunities to toy with other fruit from this vineyard. 

Post Harvest Update.... The 2016 Vintage was phenomenal, it was a record breaking vintage in terms of crop statewide while also maintaining high quality fruit, we could not be happier with the results of the harvest. A warm summer led to a cooler fall, almost perfect conditions for the fruit. The Syrah came in first, 1.23 tons was hand harvested September 15th. The Cabernet was able to hang longer and really develop great flavor and concentration, 2.03 tons were picked by hand on October 10th, a full month behind the same fruit from 2015. 

The Syrah is resting in 3 neutral french oak barrels, two Cadus (one 2010 and one 2011) and one Sylvain (2010), While the Cabernet Sauvignon produced 5 barrels for the second year in a row. It is aging in one new Millet barrel, one 2015 Millet barrel, and 3 neutrals, a 2011 Cadus, a 2011 Vacard, and a 2010 Sylvain.

2015 WINDMILL Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2015 WINDMILL Cabernet Sauvignon is ready! As of March 1st, 2017, we are beyond excited to share our passion and creation with all of you.

In a growing world of wine, in a different generation and era, with this thing called social media taking over the world, we decided to have fun with it. You may tag yourself, with a photo including you or your group, having fun or at the dinner table, enjoying your bottle of William Marie Wines WINDMILL Cabernet Sauvignon with the "hashtag,"

#turnleftatthewindmill

and it will posted to our Instagram page where we hope to see many faces and places enjoying the wine.

#turnleftatthewindmill, for us, is unique and special to Firethorn Vineyard. The first time I was invited to see the vineyard, the directions were very simple.... exit at Echo Oregon and turn right, then another right on Main St, left at Snow Rd, continue on for a mile on the dirt road, and #turnleftatthewindmill. The idle windmill became an identifier for Firethorn Vineyard and always will be.

Our 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is contracted through Firethorn Vineyard (formerly know as Echo Ridge Vineyard) in Echo Oregon, owned and operated Jay and Kim Bales. The Bales family entrusts the extremely educated and talented Billo Naravane as vineyard manager and Estate winemaker. The vineyard was planted in 2006 by ex-NFL quaterback, Drew Bledsoe (originally named Flying B Vineyard), by the recommendation of Washington vineyard legend Paul Champoux. This vineyard site is extremely secluded, isolated atop a small mesa, with excellent sunlight, and ideal winds to balance the heat for timely ripening.. Echo Oregon is about 40 miles southwest of Walla Walla Washington, just south of the Columbia River Basin. We're contracted for 2 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon in 2015, and hope to expand with this contract in the years to follow. We are honored to have been allocated this high quality fruit. 

 

2014 Syrah

Our inaugural vintage at William Marie Wines is our 2014 Syrah. The Syrah was sourced from a single vineyard in Washington's Walla Walla Valley, named Mc B Vineyard. The 2014 growing season was monumental in the state of Washington both in terms of quality and quantity. A warm and lengthy summer allowed for perfect ripening of fruit, which resulted in record quantities of over 230,000 tons statewide.

As of July, 2015, the Syrah has been in a twice used French Oak barrel and will remain resting for a total of 16-18 months until maturity. Once ready, we will bottle an estimated 25-30 cases, and plan to release the wine to family and friends around May of 2016.

UPDATE: Our first ever wine-making adventure is in the books! First, a small 2 case bottling was done just before Christmas 2015 to bring home to Arizona and shared with family and friends. Then on May 1st, 2016, after 18 months in barrel, the 2014 Syrah was bottled by hand in our home. With the help of Shawn and Jennifer, we racked the single barrel into four beer kegs for transporting the juice from the garage to the kitchen counter. From there is was an assembly line of bottling, to hand corking, to hand labeling, totaling 24 cases. As of August, it is GONE!  (I have a few more bottles I'm willing to share from the library if anyone asks!)