Wyncroft 2017 'Shou' Bordeaux Blend, LePage Estate, Lake Michigan Shore
Item Number: 13167
Sub Region: Lake Michigan Shore
Appellation/AVA: Lake Michigan Shore
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Vineyard Designation: LePage Estate
Grape(s): 38% Cabernet Sauvignon / 38% Merlot / 24% Cabernet Franc
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alc by Vol(%): 13.5
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Case Production: 104
Shou (pronounced "show") is a traditional Chinese symbol meaning longevity.
Vintage Notes: No Shou was made in between 2013 and 2017 because of damage done by the big freezes of 2014 and 2015. The 2017 vintage has more Merlot and Cabernet Franc than 2013, which makes the wine accessible sooner in it's life. The 2017 vintage was one of the finest in the last decade with even warm days and cool nights. The Bordeaux grapes from the young 4-year-old vines at LePage Estate ripened to perfection, producing small berries with thick dark skins. (Note: Shou is normally produced from Wyncroft's oldest vines at Avonlea. The vines were still recovering from the double whammy polar vortexes of 2014 and 2015 in 2017).
Vineyard Notes: The LePage Estate Vineyard has different soil and a different blend of grape varieties than Avonlea. The vines were planted just three feet apart forcing fewer clusters on each vine. This allows the vine to ripen its fruit more quickly and evenly than the 6-foot spaced Avonlea. The soil is called Allegan loam and is a mixture of sand and clay particles with an abundance of composted forest residue. It is friable, fragrant and drains well. The subsoil is a layer of heavy clay with granite stones. Wyncroft does not water or fertilize their vines.
Winemaking Notes: The wine was aged in 20% new Cadus medium-plus toast barrels with the remaining percentage being mostly in neutral Cadus and Vicard barrels. This conservative use of new oak allows the delicious fruit of this wine to be in the forefront.
Tasting Notes: The color is an almost opaque red-violet and accompanies an alluring nose of brown spice, blackberry, and black currant, while the high percentage of Merlot makes the palate rich and smooth, though youthful. The tannins are very fine leading to a long refreshing finish. Pair Wyncroft Shou with beef pot roast, grilled rack of lamb, or roasted eggplant.
Winemaker’s Notes: "This wine is my homage to the great wines of Bordeaux. My affection for these classical wines surely was influenced by the third red wine I had ever tasted, a 1966 Chateau Lascombes from Margaux. Unforgettable! As Southwest Michigan's climate is similar to Bordeaux during the growing season, one can expect a wine with some of the same classical characteristics. " - Jim Lester