All Forlorn Hope wines are produced from winegrapes. That's it.
We believe very strongly that site and farming produce all that we should like to find in a bottle of wine, and we don't want to confuse or muddy the story that each wine can relate by adding water or yeast or acid or enzymes that had nothing at all to do with what the vines put into each of our clusters.
Each of the Forlorn Hope wines may be put through very different fermentations en route to becoming one of our Rare Creatures -- Sèmillon is destemmed and pressed, then fermented in old and neutral barrels; Gewürztraminer is destemmed and fermented on the skins; Alvarelhão is fermented whole-cluster with no destemming or initial breaking of the fruit -- but throughout it all a common vein runs through the thought process in the cellar: listen to what the fermentation is saying as it transforms from fruit into wine. What does it want to become? In what direction does its nature want to lead it? In this manner we guide our ferments along, receiving suggestions and guidance from the wine and fermentative microbes themselves.
No new barrels are never used in the Forlorn Hope cellar. Currently, our oldest 60 gallon vessels are from the 1997 vintage.
Most of the Forlorn Hope wines receive a modest amount of sulfur either post-fermentation or pre-bottling -- timing depending on the Rare Creature in question -- in order to ensure that they arrive in your glass in a consistently sound fashion. Our sans soufre bottlings are labeled as such.
Wine Notes: The Queen of the Sierra Amber Estate blend was organically grown on the Rorick Heritage Vineyard in Calaveras County at 2000’ elevation, featuring soils comprised of a layer of schist over dolomite-rich limestone. Composed primarily of Verdelho, Albariño, Muscat, and Chardonnay, this beautifully nuanced and irreverently elegant wine shows all of the aromatic complexity and textural presence that are the hallmarks of wines grown on the limestone of our estate.
All fruit for our estate amber blend is hand-picked; fermentation occurred in open top vessels with some fruit being destemmed and some left whole bunch. For the most part we tried to minimize oxidization during cap management, with one punchdown or pumpover per day the typical regimen. We did include a few experimental lots that received different treatment: Vermentino fermented in egg and left there sealed and untouched for four months after which it was drained down to barrel, and a ton of Muscat fermented carbonically. Once removed from their fermentation vessels the ferments were put down to neutral 227L barrique or blended together in stainless, and remained there until being bottled unfined and unfiltered in June of 2020. As with all Forlorn Hope wines, no new oak is utilized, and nothing was added to the must or wine (no cultured yeast, ML bacteria, water, tartaric acid, enzymes, nutrients, etc) with the exception of minimal effective SO2
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