The complexity, the boldness, the deep color, the arrays of aromas and flavors, and the stability of our Synaesthesia
result directly from the characteristics and the quality of the grapes and from the way we make the wine.
The wine is a field blend of the three grapes we grow in Placitas: Syrah, Black Malvasia and Gamay. The clone of
the Syrah that we have is called Castel. It is a hearty vine. The fruit ripens early with high sugar and good acid.
We typically pick the grapes in early September with sugar as high as 35 brix. We start the fermentation
of Synaesthesia with the Castel alone.
After about three weeks, we pick and add the Black Malvasia, a grape from the Chianti region of Italy.
These fresh grapes with their deep color and intense spices are added to the fermented Castel with an alcohol
level that has now reached 13 to 14%. In what amounts to a tincture extraction, the alcohol from the Castel
captures the color, the spice and the fresh fruit aromas and flavors of the Black Malvasia as the new grapes ferment.
Symbiotically, the fermentation of the Black Malvasia extends by about three weeks the time that the skins and seeds
of the Castel can be left safely in the primary fermentation vat.
After about six weeks from when we first started the fermentation, the Gamay grapes are ripe with light aromas and
lovely fruit flavors. Into the vat they go for another tincture extraction and another three weeks of time in the
primary fermentation vat for the skins and the seeds of both the Castel and the Black Malvasia.
When the sugars in the Gamay grapes have been fermented, the wine is pressed from the skins and aged with either American
or French (or both) toasted oak for one to few years. We bottle the wine when we think it will be ready
to drink after two or three months in the bottle, knowing that it will only improve for years,
perhaps decades. We do not know the limit. The oldest Synaesthesia we have in
the library is 2001. Every bottle we open is better than the one before.
In every aspect, our Synaesthesia exceeds what is expected of any modern, award-winning wine. It harkens back to
rare hand-crafted wines from the Old World. It suggests dark and musty caves, candle light and magic. When you
partake of Synaesthesia, you taste a symphony and hear a dance of exotic colors. You feel the voices of the spirits
of the landscape of the historic village of Placitas. You see the creak of rusty hinges on a heavy wooden door and
the cackle of an old ancient winemaker.
We have less than five cases of this vintage. We are charging $125 ($100 Club member) for a bottle
of it. At that price point, the winemaker is happy to sell a bottle to a customer who
appreciates the wine properly. Anything less, he would rather enjoy it himself with a piece
of grilled venison (cooked rare).
WINES IN A LANDSCAPE
The wines of Anasazi Fields come forth from a unique landscape: a landscape of spring-fed
orchards, a landscape of artists and poets, a landscape of weather and topography, a landscape
of science and magic. Our commitment at Anasazi Fields Winery is to produce wines as unique and
as interesting as the landscape.
As does the landscape, our wines invite exploration. They are
intense, complex, bold. They are also evolving. We are exploring ourselves. No commercial winemaker
has ever been where we are going with our fruit and berry wines. We are truly making it up as we go.
Whole-fruit fermentation. Slow, sugar-starved fermentation. Three to six months of primary fermentation
of the whole fruit. Fermentation to a high degree of dryness. Residual sugars typically less than
one-half of a percent. Aging for two to six years on oak. Bottling without fining or adding sulfites
and with the minimum amount of filtering.
Wine is a living product. Complex chemical and biological reactions continue to take place in the bottle
indefinitely. A wine that is properly structured and properly stored (see below) can improve for years,
becoming richer in flavor, mellower, and more viscous. Sediments in an older wine are a natural result of
the aging process. In fact, many wines do not peak in quality until they have thrown sediments.
If you find that one of your wines has thrown sediments, set the wine upright for a day or two before
opening. Open without disturbing the sediments and decant carefully, leaving the sediments in the bottom of the bottle.
PROPER STORAGE OF WINE
Ideal storage conditions for a bottle of wine are in the dark, on its side, and at a stable temperature
between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
A stable temperature is important. As temperature increases and decreases, the wine expands and contracts,
which can cause the cork to move slightly back and forth, thereby risking the danger of breaking the seal.
Storage on the side keeps the cork from drying out. A wet cork maintains a better seal.
Because wine is plant-based, it is extremely sensitive to sunlight. If you do not have a cellar, store
your wines at the back of a closet, on the floor, in the room with the most constant temperature.
Check your wines occasionally, and if a bottle has started to leak, drink it.