Left Foot Charley - Pinot Gris Skin Fermented
Tea leaf, spice, firm tannin, soft acidity
About the Wine:
This is a ridiculous proposition yet it is so perfect for this grape. This was a one ton experiment led up by LFC Cellar Master, Wes. He suggested pushing the envelope on the skin contact in an archaically traditional yet fundamentally progressive manner.
We fermented the lot with the skins as we would a red wine fermentation. Then, instead of pressing after a week or two, we let the wine age with the skins for 8 months in stainless steel, then neutral oak puncheons for 10 weeks. Keep in mind that the skins of Gris are a raspberry color. The color is not very stable typically but when it has that long to bind with the tannins it creates a peculiar hue. The oxygen that inevitably creeps in further tints this and we end up with a beautiful orange colored wine. The skins absolutely dominate the aromas and palate. It has tea-like qualities with a striking earthy spice. This is not your traditional white wine. Think of it more like a light red wine.
This 2 acre site sits on the opposite side of our Pinot Blanc vineyards. Facing west in sandy loam soil, it overlooks West Grand Traverse Bay. It was planted in 2003 and has just started to reveal its potential as a heavyweight white wine. Gris ripens easily in our region. We like to let this one hang on the vine deep into the season. This allows us to make wines of depth, power, and complexity.