Tzum Feis Spring Ephemeral, 2018, Columbia Gorge AVA
Hiyu Wine Farm
Grapes: Petite Verdot, Tannat, Ste. Macaire Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Carménère, Abouriou
Vineyard: Scorched Earth Vineyard
Appellation: Columbia Gorge AVA, Oregon, USA
Soil: Black sand, basalt
Harvest: By hand, no pruning, organic and biodynamic
This wine is made from a one-acre parcel at Scorched Earth Vineyard. This part of the site is closest to the river, where the soils are a bit deeper and have more organic matter than the pure sand or basalt cobbles found in other parts of the vineyard. In 2016 we grafted the vines here from Syrah to a field blend of all the grapes you would have encountered in Southwestern France in the late Middle Ages: many clones of heirloom Cabernet and Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Tannat, Abouriou, Fer, Ste. Macaire, etc. The wine we made from this parcel in 2019 challenges one's conception of what is possible from these varieties. It is atypically pale, with a soaring perfume of the wild desert botanicals that grace this landscape. The grapes were picked late and fully ripe at only 11% alcohol. One encounters none of the shrill acidity or overt greenness that these kind of grapes would normally deliver when picked at these sugar levels. Instead the wine is cloud like in texture, almost weightless, a vehicle for delivering aromas in the most pleasing way.