Reserve, Barrel-Select Dornfelder, 2006--SOLD OUT
Dogs are as much a part of vineyard
and winery life as grapes or barrels.
Around Santa Ynez Valley, it’s
almost expected to see a dog in the back
of a pickup, accompanying a winegrower
through the vines or hanging out in the
cool cellar on a hot summer day. And
so it was with Norman and Traudl Huber’s
canine companion, Charlotte. The smartest
puppy in a litter of 12, the Huber’s
brought Charlotte home from the Buellton
Farmer’s Market thirteen years
ago. Not only was Charlotte an excellent
guard dog and an expert “gopher
hunter”, but also became multi-lingual,
picking up both English and German from
the Hubers. Definitely the smartest pup
in the litter!
Charlotte passed away in 2007 after
a long and happy life with the Huber's.
With a desire to not only memorialize
Charlotte, but also to help other dogs
find such a good life, Norman and Traudl
have crafted a special wine from their
vineyard, called “Charlotte’s
Reserve”. They chose the two finest
barrels of their Dornfelder wine – a
red wine that is so dark as to be almost
black. Like Charlotte, the wine is full
of character and quality, is bursting
with black fruit flavors and is a true
representation of their Sta. Rita Hills
vineyard. Ten percent of the price of
each bottle is being donated to Santa
Ynez Valley Humane Society which
since 1979 has been providing nutritious
food, needed medical care, and a clean,
safe and welcoming place for homeless
animals while they find them a new family.
Charlotte’s Reserve features
a hand-waxed seal and special label.
was a year characterized by little rain.
Crop sizes were smaller than expected,
with petite berries full of concentration
and flavor. The season was long, with
few weather highs or lows – a nice
long time of the vine with early morning
fogs, sunny days and breezy afternoons.
Grapes were harvested almost leisurely,
allowing the winemaking team to pick
each varietal at its perfect ripeness.
In the cellar, the Dornfelder grapes
were de-stemmed into small open top fermenters,
and then pressed off prior to dryness
to capture the essence of the fruit without
extracting too much tannin from the skins.
A year later, the two favorite barrels
were set aside, the wine blended together
and then put back to barrel for an additional
six months of aging before being bottled.
It was officially released at the annual “Cheers
for Charlotte” celebration on December
5, 2009. All proceeds from that event,
as well as a portion of the proceeds
from the sale of each bottle benefits
the Santa Ynez Humane Society.
with glycerin like legs coating the glass,
the 2006 Dornfelder is still
a bit more purplish, dark amethyst hue
than in past vintage. On the nose, smoky
notes mix with concentrated berry and
coffee bean aromas along with a hint
of menthol that livens up the bouquet.
A nice soft entry coats the palate prettily
with high-toned notes of concentrated
raspberry and “framboise” like
flavors, along with a bit of blackberry
jam. A nice, pleasant finish with beautifully
balance, bright acids and soft tannins.
Ready to enjoy now, but will age nicely
for the next 3-5 years. Cheers for Charlotte!!