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New wine for spring

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Easter seemed an appropriate time to break out new wine, at least a sampling that might symbolize life new and fresh.

I've been trying to ignore all those carboys of 2012 wine in the cellar. It hasn't worked for the reds, which have been causing me some troubles with start and stop secondary fermentation.

The whites — some more pink and copper-colored in my case so maybe they're rosés — were early achievers, however, content to settle, clear and gently age without fuss.

They're ready for bottling, although I may rack them one more time this weekend and let them resettle for a month more before bottling, since I plan no other filtering process.

But in honor of Easter ritual including the annual brunch among old friends to which I was invited, I siphoned off a single bottle from one of three different whites I made.

The wine was made from pinot gris grapes grown at the Milbrandt Evergreen Vineyard near George. I was interested in making a more full-bodied, fruity and colorful wine than a lot of those blah wines that are often made from the grape. I love the rich pink-purple color of pinot gris and really don't understand why so many wineries choose to ignore it with rapid pressing.

I made two batches with the 125 pounds of grapes I purchased. One batch I crushed and left on the skins for 48 hours before pressing. The other, smaller, batch was left on the skins for eight hours. I added a little pectic enzyme to soften the skins and extract more color and tannin.

Yet another batch was made with pinot gris and chardonnay grapes from my own vines. I pressed those quickly to retain a nice straw color.

The wine I chose for the bottle was the darker colored wine. It had a nice copper color and floral perfume that looked great on the table with the potluck brunch choices of quiche, scones, fruit salads, skillet potatoes and curry deviled eggs.

I only had a few sips, but people agreed the wine was not only pretty but tasted pretty darn good. I think it will improve quite a bit with a few months aging in the bottle and look forward to the next trial.

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