The Wine: Queen of the Sierra Amber 2020
Forlorn Hope Queen of the Sierra Amber is a skin-contact natural wine made (orange wine) from a blend of Verdelho, Albariño, Muscat, and Chardonnay grapes grown on on the Rorick Heritage Vineyard in Calaveras County at 2000’ elevation, featuring soils comprised of a layer of schist over dolomite-rich limestone.
Winemaker notes: 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.
The Producer: Forlorn Hope Wines
At Forlorn Hope Wines, we love the longshots. We love the outsiders, the lost causes, the people/projects/ideas abandoned as not having a chance in the world. We love the little guy because we’re all about tenacity, we relish a challenge, and – we admit it – we love us a good tussle. Taken from the Dutch ‘verloren hoop’, meaning ‘lost troop’, Forlorn Hope was the name given to the band of soldiers who volunteered to lead the charge directly into enemy defenses. The chance of success for the Forlorn Hope was always slim, but the glory and rewards granted to survivors ensured no shortage of applicants. These bottles are our headlong rush into the breach. Rare creatures from the limestone slopes of Rorick Heritage Vineyard, these wines are our brave advance party, our pride and joy – our Forlorn Hope. (source: Forlorn Hope Wines)
The Region: Calaveras County