Phillip pulled a sample amount of our 2010 Viognier and 2010 Marsanne from the barrels to test for “cold stabilization”. And the best way to do this? Fill empty wine bottles and pop them in the refrigerator to observe the wine over a four day period. We are looking to see if the wine remains clear. If the bottle clouds up, then the wine is not stabilized. It needs more time in the barrel, or it needs to be put outside in freezing temperatures to continue stabilizing. If the wine is not cold stabilized, then the proteins can coagulate and appear as a haze in the bottle.

What does all of this mean? A wine that appears to be hazy or cloudy is more offensive in visibility than in taste. It really isn’t that much fun to drink a cloudy wine. But let’s not get this confused with sediment, tartrate crystals, or with white wine “browning”–these are characteristics that are interesting. We check all of our white and rose wines to check for lovely, clear wine.

There is always an advantage to seeing these bottles in the fridge…we get to drink them! And something you may see on the tasting bar later this year: 100% Marsanne with zero added sulfites. It tastes delicious, this hilltop property produces some pretty darn good whites (yes, we’re both drinking a glass now, waiting for the rain to come but thoroughly enjoying it).