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