WINEMAKING / TASTING NOTES
When blending American grape varieties (concord, catawba, Steuben, Delaware, Niagara, isabella, and edelweiss come to mind), each variety provides both complimentary and dominant flavor profiles. What does that mean? A little too much of one pretty well wipe out the flavors of the other or others. Thus when blending these wines, the need to be precise and concise is of incredible importance. And considering how we blend them — bottle some of one, then start blending into the tank the other components, the risk of overshooting an addition severs a few nerves as we do it.
Escape My Mind 2021 is our fifth vintage of this wine. The name comes from, well, the fermentation escaped me. Like literally. Or really, I wasn’t paying attention to it. Or paying attention to it closely. Over the years of making sweet wines using arrested fermentation, or stopping fermentation, you learn trends, so to speak on how the juices are going to act during fermentation. Vintage 1 was lagging behind some other sweet wine tanks and after 3 days of tests, I simply started following the other tanks more closely. I had never experienced a slower fermentation catching up and then passing ones that were fermenting right on schedule. But it happened. Luckily, while filtering a past Blue My Mind, I tested the first vintage of this wine and had that “Uh-oh” moment. Needless to say, I started to filter the “Escape” right after finishing Blue. Then, by dumb luck, one of my really good sweet wine customers came by, tried it, and loved it.
Our fifth version tastes very similar to the super popular 4th version. I was waiting for a couple of other wines to finish fermentation before attempting this wine, then it dawned on me. Wait a minute. I think I have two wines that will do it. After several attempts, we nailed it
For all of our sweet wines, we follow European laws and traditions and do not add sugar at bottling, but rather rely on arrested fermentation and the fruit’s natural sugars. Yeah, they’re lower in alcohol, but lower alcohol wines allow for the fruity flavors to shine through. We ferment these wines at the seemingly impossible temperature of 34-36 degrees Fahrenheit (we found a yeast that can do it after searching for 3 plus years) which allows for very slow fermentation. This slow fermentation doesn’t allow the fruity esters to escape in the atmosphere, and it allows us to filter away the yeast at the exact time the wines have what we taste is the right residual sugar and alcohol concentrations.
Adding sugar to sweeten wine is a common, traditional practice in the United States, probably originating from the home winemaker scene. At Turtle Run, we explored scientifically to see if there is a difference between arrested fermentation wine, the way Europe and Turtle Run do it, versus sugar added to wine, the American way. First, wines with sugar added have half of their sweetness provided by glucose. Arrested fermentation wines have little to no glucose left behind as the yeast seem to prefer to consume glucose before metabolizing fructose into alcohol. Because fructose is far sweeter than glucose and because arrested fermentation wines have less alcohol, we can drop our calorie count by over 50% over sugar-added wines. Because many more maladies to humans are tied to the overconsumption of glucose, such as diabetes, hypertension, inflammation, and cancer growth, we think our pain in the rear method of winemaking provides a better product for the consumer. And arrested fermentation wines have a clean, refreshing aftertaste, not a cloying, syrupy sugar aftertaste.
Vintage 2021| Varietal: Stueben, Diamond| Appellation: Upstate New York and Indiana Uplands, Turtle Run Vineyards
Acid 0.76 | PH 3.55 | Alcohol % 9.5 | Residual Sugar 2.9% | Grams Glucose 0| Grams Sucrose 0 | Grams Fructose 10 | Fructose calories per bottle 30
Price: $14 per bottle