At Ramos Torres, we pay utmost attention to detail in the vineyard and this approach pays dividends when it comes to harvest time in the winery. Planning begins far ahead of harvest to determine how the lots are to be broken up and how each lot is to be fermented and aged. We have a winemaking philosophy to create balanced, terroir driven wines and not burden our wines with excessive ripeness. Once our grapes are handpicked, we ensure that they get to the winery swiftly while they are still cool. Each lot is meticulously handled so that their varietal character and nuance are preserved. Our wines must have a backbone of acidity that knits their generous structure into balanced wines.
Our white wines are fermented naturally in barrels. Barrel fermentation helps contribute aromatics and add roundness on the palate. When the vintage permits and grape quality is pristine, native fermentation is preferred. Native fermentation at Ramos Torres means that the native flora of the vineyard are encouraged and unencumbered in the winery. The aromas during fermentation always suggest that there is heaven on Earth, with beautiful aromas of rose pedals and floral arrangements. Once the yeast has depleted the available sugars, the wines are racked from their barrels to stainless steel tanks where they are cold settled. After 24 hours, the white wines are transferred back into French neutral barrels where they age for 8 months before being bottled.
We think about Herbes de Provence when we describe our winemaking philosophy. The Herbes de Provence blend has several herbs working in synergy with each other that can add depth of flavor to many dishes. We like to have multitude of wine lots in the cellar to choose from to give us blending flexibility and allow us to layer flavors and aromas. Just as Herbes de Provence uses savory, oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and sometimes lavender to add complex flavors to a dish, we play with different varieties and diverse winemaking techniques to add depth and complexity to our wines. Each of the separate lots give Ramos Torres an array of different characteristics that allow for great blending opportunities.
After the initial processing is complete, the must is cold soaked for a number of days to macerate the skins and juice without the presence of alcohol. This allows us to extract all of the color up-front. With all of the color extracted, we can adjust the fermentation temperature and length depending upon how much tannin we wish to extract. We ferment the majority of our wines separately by variety and at times will co-ferment multiple lots from different vineyard blocks.
During fermentation, we monitor temperatures and focus on extracting flavors gently. We want to avoid over-extraction and the extraction of harsh, or grippy tannin. We seek soft, plush, mouth coating and velvety tannins that come from the perfect extraction of perfect grapes. We also perform delestage, which is a method of gentle extraction common in the Rhone. It cools the fermentation, incorporates oxygen, and it softens tannin.
After primary fermentation the wines will be pressed and then cellared for 12 to 18 months. At Ramos Torres, Oscar believes deeply in the power of blending wines to create wines with complex, layered flavors.