Marginalia Red Wine
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Winemaker, Tim Doyle, pays “scientific attention” to every detail when making his wines. He splits his time between winemaking and his position as a professor at Whitman College in Walla Walla (ancient philosophy and foundations of mathematics).
- The winemaking process is minimally invasive, avoiding chemically synthesized additives or other agents.
- Marginalia focuses on lighter red wines and amber wines.
Varietal Composition: 52.2% Zinfandel, 47.8% Pinot Noir
Elaboration: The Marginalia Red Wine is cofermented from Les Collines Vineyard Zinfandel (Block 10, clone unknown) and Breezy Slope Vineyard Pinot Noir (Rows 8-9, clones 114 and 115). These vineyards are only about two miles apart on the eastern foothills of Walla Walla, but are separated by over 400 feet of elevation. This key difference puts the cool climate-friendly Pinot into roughly the same stage of ripeness as the heat-loving Zinfandel at the time of harvest, allowing us to pick both lots the same day and ferment them together. The destemmed Zinfandel provides acid and abundant red fruit at this level of ripeness, and the whole cluster Pinot gives the wine additional freshness and structure. Cooperage was all neutral, and mostly French, though I added a short chain of staves made from Oregon-grown white oak (Quercus Garryana) to one of the barrels for background oak impact and added complexity.
The wine fermented on skins (and, in the case of the Pinot, stems) for about 10 days, peaking at around 70 degrees F, resulting in very light extraction. Pressed sweet to end extraction before alcohol levels rose high enough to extract bitter flavors from the stems. Fermentation finished in barrels. The wine remained on fermentation lees through malolactic conversion, and I stirred the lees to keep them fresh through the early spring. The wine was racked off most of the lees in the spring to prepare for bottling in late July. The wine was not fined or filtered, and the total sulfur dioxide addition was around 30ppm. Total time from harvest to bottle was about 10.5 months.
Tasting Notes: This wine is a light bodied, refreshing red wine with low tannin, low pigmentation, and relatively high acidity. Aromatically it leans toward red fruits like strawberry and red cherry. The stem inclusion lends its typical fresh, herbal note to the nose. Fruit flavors are a little darker than the aromas, with more of a strawberry jam or candied cherry note and a some spicy complexity in the background from the wood. The finish has virtually no drying tannin, and the palate length is all driven by juicy acidity.