23 Dec Villa Melnik Yagorida 2016
The Yagorida, the smallest grapes from the tallest shoots of the vine,
dramatically survived and matured after the hailstorm like a phoenix.
The wine has a unique concentration, structure and aroma.
A symbol of the vine’s unquenchable desire for life.
The Yagorida is the second knot (fruit) of the vine. The first knot is the actual grape as we know it – well-shaped bunches of grapes that can turn into fine wine. Along with these grapes or a little after that grows the Yagorida. The Yagorida is a small cluster of grapes at the top of some of the vine branches. It is considered an unneccesary growth. The Yagorida never gets to ripen because the vine’s nutrients and strength go into the main grape clusters below. The Yagorida is never picked because it has very high acids and rough green tannins. It is usually left on the vine for the birds to eat.The Yagorida is also called the “poor man’s grape”. Sometimes, while taking care of the vines in the winter, the vintners eat the sweet and sour Yagorida to refresh themselves.
On July 1, 2016, we were hit by a hailstorm. It destroyed 75% of our harvest. Leaves, twigs and grape bunches were ruined and fell to the ground. After the hailstorm, the stressed vine began to compensate for the trauma. The vine redirected its nutrition and vital energy to the small grapes that survived and they became saturated with colors, flavors and aromas. We collected those grapes and from them we made the wines Gradushka (“Hailstorm”) and Gradushka 42 months – unique and unrepeatable – a symbol of nature’s destructive force but also of its miracles. A symbol that God takes, but God gives also.
The vine’s will to survive gave strength to the Yagorida. Because of its later growth and smaller size, most of the Yagorida survived the hail. The destruction of the main grape clusters allowed the Yagorida to fully ripen for the first time.
The harvest of 2016 was therefore small compared to our other harvests but with supremely excellent quality. The fully ripe Yagorida of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah provoked us to collect them and make wine from them.
Making wine from Yagorida is not an easy task – the Yagorida is wild, with intense flavors and aromas, with high acids and sharp tannins. It took us four years of aging in oak barrels to tame its wild temper. We softened the resulting wine with the same amount of oak aged Merlot from the same vintage.
For us, this wine is a symbol of survival even in the most unfavorable conditions, the choice we have to make to preserve ourselves and what we love. It is also a symbol of invincibility, of unbreakable life force and of unquenchable desire. The Yagorida is our phoenix, grown and matured after the hailstorm, triumphing in the wine we bring to you.
You can order Yagorida 2016 here.