Iseult: the Celtic princess tied to philtres and charms.
The wine named for her is fine, arch, delicately pagan and medieval
The grapes were harvested from a particularly cool, lowland slip
of Lee Hudson's Henry Road vineyard on the day after Hallowe'en–late
even for this cool vineyard. The clusters of delicate grapes hung
from their vines until they exhibited the aroma of Smithfield ham.
The grapes were placed whole, uncrushed, in a small open-top container
and allowed to sit in the cool of the November cellar until yeasts
and microbes begain to clot the surface of the must. A few days
later, the fermenting yeasts triumphed in the competition for the
grapes' sugar, and fermentation began. The grapes turned to wine
slowly and with infrequent disturbance–punched down only now
and then. Skins, seeds and wine passed the Solstice and the Holidays
together: the wine was pressed only on the first day of the New
Its delicate nature demands a very different treatment from its
older sibling from the same vineyard, the 2002 Scheria. It has been
kept in topped barrels, with a little sulfur. It was bottled after
18 months in barrel. Its lines are fresh, clear, elegant.
[written in 2005]