A fresh cup of coffee, a quick browse through the news, a jog through the warming summer air--at this time of year, these are all things best enjoyed in the morning. At Telaya, we spend our mornings enjoying something else: our wines. However, we don’t really think of this as day drinking. We’ve got a business to run, and sampling in the morning ensures our tasting is as effective as possible.
Why Taste in The Morning?
It’s important to taste early in the morning because the palate is cleanest right after waking up. A fresh palate is so vital to the process that we forego food and drink on tasting mornings. This especially means no coffee, and that alone scares most people off from morning tastings.
What We Do
We take a couple approaches to tasting. First, there’s the check-in tasting, which we do to make sure wines overall are tasting correct. This is just a chance to check in and make sure all that chemistry going on in the barrel is on the right track.
But the more investigative tasting happens when we’re blending, which is a three- or four-day process. (That’s right, three or four days without coffee OR breakfast!) Telaya follows a specific blending process.
First, we blend our Wine Club Only wine. We usually already have an idea of what the end product will be going into the blending, but we rehash final details and perform quality control to make a final decision. This tasting gets us all in the same room together to verify, “Yes, this is the blend we’re agreeing on, and yes, this is the taste we set out to achieve.”
Second, we blend our Turas. The Turas is our flagship blend, and always starts with at least 50% Syrah. That leaves us 50% for experimentation and incorporating components of other wines to reach a balanced flavor. We’re always looking for ways to keep the Turas current while honoring its history and referencing the traditional flavor profile that defines Telaya.
Then, we go through lot by lot to taste what’s left in the barrels to see what fits together to produce our varietals (Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvedre, etc.). We assess the strengths of each barrel, then determine if bringing two barrels together will enhance elements in each. Our goal is cohesion across barrels.
Along the way, we take the time to work out what we like about individual barrels. As a group, we discuss what a certain barrel may be lacking in comparison to another. Often bringing the wines in two barrels with different strengths and weaknesses results in a complete and coherent union. But other times bringing together fundamentally different barrels that have undergone different processes results in a clash. We keep an open mind as we taste, allowing for the wine to surprise us. But sometimes the tastes of free-run and press-run, or new oak and used oak, or tannic and fruity wine just compete with each other in unpleasing ways.
Nevertheless, experimentation in blending and bringing together varietals from different barrels can produce exciting, complex wines. This tasting period gives us an occasion to utilize all our wines in stock, and we rarely have any left over. If we do, we go back and see if it will fit into one of our blends.
We can all agree that no morning caffeine rush can compete with the satisfaction of forging new wines. After all, coffee takes a few minutes to make; a perfect wine takes years.
Everyone Spits, a note:
Tipsy testing is a no-go! No one drinks all the wine they taste, and nearly all wine tasted is spat out. Even with spitting, a portion of alcohol enters the bloodstream through the capillaries of the mouth, which is why we only taste for a few hours before eating a well deserved lunch and don’t start tasting again until the next day.
Starting June 1st, 2017, Alaska Airlines will allow Alaska Mileage Plan members to check one case of Idaho wine FREE of charge on all Alaska Airlines flights departing from Boise and Lewiston Regional Airport. Find more information here.
Thank you Vogue for featuring us in Why Boise, Idaho, Is a Growing Culinary Hotspot by Jen Murphy.
Andy Perdue & Eric Degerman of Great Northwest Wine talk about Idaho & Washington Syrah in this informative article.
Why we pay $1200 per barrel.
Barrels are a winemaker’s spice rack, imparting vanilla, smoke, bacon, or coffee, enhancing flavor to pull out that one special characteristic.
For a boutique winery, barrels are a critical component, and not only for storing the wine. Just as a great chef brings forward the ingredients’ best qualities through applying the appropriate spices, a winemaker can use a barrel to accentuate that one component that takes a wine from a good wine to something special, memorable, exciting.
This spring, we’re releasing FIVE new white wines. We’ve never released this many at once, but in the spirit of sunny weather and how much love our patio is getting, we figured if not now, when?
A few of these varietals may be new to you. We went off the well-beaten path with some of the wines (especially our Anam), but what is a journey if you can’t take a moment to explore some new routs? In our experience, the lightly-traveled paths lead to the most unexpected surprises- and Anam is definitely a pleasant surprise.
These wines are going to make an outstanding white-flight, which is how we recommend enjoying them when you come to the winery. With a flight you’ll get to choose three wines, and have all the glasses poured at once so you can taste them back-to-back.
Five new wines can seem like a lot. So, here’s our cheat sheet to help you decode our Spring Line up and find your perfect white.
Great Northwest Wine published a great article on Washington and Idaho Syrah and its continued growth in popularity! Thank you Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman.
Boise, Garden City, Eagle and Meridian offer a ton of things to do for visitors. From the Village in Meridian to walks on the Green Belt, the Treasure Valley has something for everyone.
We love that there are so many great things to do in Idaho, and here are a 11 of our favorites. If you're visiting, don't hesitate to ask our Tasting Room Staff for more recommendations.
“One of my favorite activities to share with my sons is taking them to Rediscovered Books in downtown Boise. They have a wonderful selection in a very welcoming environment – and their staff is always more than happy to answer our questions or make suggestions.”
- Carrie, Owner & Winemaker
This winter has been one the Treasure Valley will not quickly forget. It’s been decades since we’ve seen this kind of snowfall and low temperatures. So besides having to shovel our driveways on a daily basis and keep a healthy stock of snow-melt in the garage, we have also been thinking about how this cold spell will affect Idaho’s 2017 grape production.
When a vine is hit by a cold snap, what really suffers are its dormant buds, which are what develop into fruit in the spring. The buds that develop into fruit are bundled up together inside an external, scaly, protective layer.