Monday, December 1, 2008

2006 Sour Cherry, aka "The Shy Bride"

Came home tonight to a dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers--turkey, roasted potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. While that was warming up, I went down into the cellar for a bottle and decided to pull out one of my library wines. I settled on my dry 2006 Sour Cherry because it's been over a year since I've tried a bottle and I only had 2 left!

2006 Sour Cherry, aka "The Shy Bride"

Specs: 11% ABV, 100% montmorency cherries from Friske Orchard, MI
Appearance: Clear, light orange-pink
Aroma: Light and fruity with a citrus & lightly floral finish. Light cherry aroma (gee, what a surprise!).
Taste: Smooth, light cherry fruit foretaste. There's those cherries again! Light body and a bright, mildly acidic finish that lingers on the tongue.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with this wine, which was officially the 7th wine I made (third whole fruit wine from scratch). Was the first wine where I attempted to control the fermentation temperature by moving to the basement where the ambient temperature was ~60 °F. Don't know how much that actually helped. I fermented on the fruit skins for 4 days and then pressed and completed fermentation in a glass carboy. Ended up with what I would call a cherry rose.

The "Shy Bride" nom de plume was a joke. I had overshot the acid level a bit due to a low-titrant NaOH standard and the wine ended up a bit acidic when I bottle it (TA = 0.8%). At the time it had quite a bite to it, so I had an inspiration for a cute label and dashed off the following:

Like a shy bride, this light blush starts
with gentle hints of cherry in the nose,
but ends with a tart finish on the tongue.
Served Chilled

I could make all kinds of ironic remarks about how prophetic, appropriate, and applicable that passage has proven to be in my former marriage, but I will hold my tongue... On the other hand, the wine has mellowed quite a bit. That original tart flavor has died to a nice, bright finish that is quite nice on this rose-style wine. Just a reminder that when all else fails, just let the wine sit.

This wine also formed the basis for a Cherry Cordial by blending with amaretto. I'm going to keep the exact blend ratio and other details of the Cordial secret as it was a big hit and frankly I've never seen a similar offering elsewhere. I don't believe that any of those bottles are still in existence as the folks that I gave some to as gifts have sucked 'em down!

a MA Winemaker


Erroll said...

When you say "100% montmorency cherries" do you mean that you made the wine like a conventional grape wine without adding water? Or do you mean a traditional country wine, with fruit and water, but that all the cherries were montmorency?

I make cherry wine too, and I try to make it as much like a conventional grape wine as I can. Commercial cherry wines are made that way, but all home winemakers that I've contacted make it as a country wine. Until now?

A Wine Student said...


This batch used about 4 lbs of Montmorency cherries per gallon of water. Next batch I'd like to make more concentrated and drastically up the amount of cherries like your method. Alas, since the move the MA, my source of Montmorency cherries has dried up like a day-old sponge. Need to find a new source!