2016 Silver Totem Red Blend
Silver Totem red blend is a rich Washington wine dominated by dark colored and relatively soft Malbec and ripe and generous Merlot. The blend is rendered more complex by adding 15% of structuring Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% of fresh and fruity Gamay and Marechal Foch. This is a full bodied red wine with soft tannins and notes of blackberry and vanilla.
Why we make this wine:
Red blends are a wonderful way to build a wine using the different characteristics of complementary varieties to build a more complete and harmonious wine. For example, in this wine, the Malbec brings loads of black fruit and soft tannins while Merlot brings more floral notes and a little bit of structure.
How we make it:
The grapes for Silver Totem Red Blend come primarily from the Wallula Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA (87% HHH). The other regions making up the last 13% of the blend are the Yakima Valley (6%), the Willamette Valley (4%) and Red Mountain (3%). The grapes are machine harvested with the latest harvester technology which guarantees that only perfect berries are picked. In fact, those new harvesters have the latest sorting technology on board selecting only ripe plump berries and rejecting raisins and material other than grapes. The grapes are usually picked in late October at sugar levels between 24.5 and 26.5 Brix. The grapes are then put through a destemmer and fermented in stainless steel tanks at our winery in West Richland. The fermentation is conducted at high temperatures (90F) for a short period of time and then cooled down to 82F to avoid extracting too many tannins toward the end of the fermentation. The total time on the skin is 7 to 10 days. After a short micro-oxygenation treatment destined to stabilize color, the wine undergoes malolactic conversion in stainless steel tanks. Thereafter, half of the wine is aged in oak barrels and the other half is aged in tank for 16 months prior to bottling. The wine is un-fined and it is filtered prior to bottling to guarantee no spoilage Brettanomyces yeast get into the bottle.
Our favorite food pairing:
Our favorite pairings with Silver Totem Red Blend are juicy burgers or lamb chops with a potato gratin