2004 Pazzo

Pazzo is delicious. Pazzo is an island wine. Pazzo is a fortified and madeirized wine made from the Merlot grape, the first and only on Long Island and maybe the world! This is the second bottling of our 2004 Pazzo. The first version spent five years in barrel, this version, the second coming (bottling), spent a little over seven years in barrel. For a long time we had wanted to create a wine to pair with all the activities that come after the entrée; whether that is a cheese course, or nuts or a dessert featuring chocolate or fruit or just a tipple sitting by a warm fire. Now we have just the right drink and it only took us five years to make the first bottling and 8 years to make the second! It all started with merlot fruit from the 2004 vintage that was hand-harvested and crushed by foot in small one ton bins as usual. The wine was fermented dry, then fortified to 18% alcohol (with neutral grape spirits), put in barrels and placed outside to madeirize for five years. This means the wine was subjected to the elements, the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter. The wine evaporates and is not topped up. The wine cooks, the wine oxidizes. Something magical begins to happen to the aromas and flavors, just like what happened to the Madeiras in the ballasts of ships making a trip across the equator a hundred and fifty years ago. Our Pazzo is filled with aromas and flavors of figs, caramel, orange peel, Christmas spices, raspberry liqueur, nuts and dried fruit. So when we finally decided to bottle some of this elixir, we took half of the wine (the other half remained outside for another couple years and that is this new release!) and when the merlot arrived for our rosato we pressed and settled the juice and added a bit of that sweet merlot juice to give our Pazzo just a pinch of sweetness. This was the final touch to bring the wine into that pleasure place of great balance, length and complexity. Pazzo means “mad” or “crazy” in Italian and this is our play and nod to the island of Madeira, and her wines, and the fact we are a little nuts to make a wine like this…though when you taste it you will be as happy as we are that we did. This second bottling is remarkably similar to the first with a bit more richness from continued evaporation (the Angel’s share) and a bit more depth and complexity. 228 cases (of half bottles) produced.