May 17, 2016 marks the official launch of INTRINSIC Wine Co., a raw yet elegant wine from the famed Columbia Valley in Washington State that was produced using a technique called “extreme” extended maceration. It has tremendous complexity because the core of the wine stayed in contact with the grape skins for approximately nine months after harvest. Typical red wine from Washington State spends less than one month on the skins. This prolonged skin contact created a wine that is undeniably unique.
Acclaimed INTRINSIC winemaker, Juan Muñoz-Oca, does not shy away from experimentation or pushing the boundaries of conventional winemaking. For years he has been experimenting with extreme extended maceration. Despite the risk of potentially ruining the grapes if his hypothesis proved incorrect, he believed more could be extracted from the grape skins to create additional layers and depth in the wine. After much trial and error, he crafted an avant-garde style of Cabernet Sauvignon with mellowed tannins and a smooth texture.
The wine has refined aromas of leather and cherries that are truthful to the fruit of Washington. The flavours are layered with tones of blueberry jam, pomegranate and chocolate. The texture is rustic, yet silky, with a unique savoury and inviting finish.
“The extended skin contact is what makes INTRINSIC different; it is where we extracted the ‘intrinsic qualities’ of the grapes to develop a more layered wine,” said Muñoz-Oca. “We love the way this treatment of the grapes creates a rustic yet refined texture to the wine. The aromatics are typical of Cabernet Sauvignon, but there is uniqueness to the wine given the mineral tones and umami and savoury flavours.”
A new kind of wine needs a different kind of label. The inspiration behind the INTRINSIC label was born from urban culture and the creative parallels between street art and winemaking. Both are reflective of their environments and collaborations between artist and landscape. You never see street art the same way twice. Likewise, a glass of wine will never taste the same way twice, even if it’s the same wine from the same vintage. Each vintage of wine is unique, powerful and fleeting, just like street art.
It’s label was designed by famed Brooklyn street artist Zimer, with the goal of celebrating the urban cities where wine is often enjoyed.
“When I first heard about INTRINSIC, I was ecstatic. This project was an ideal match for the style of art I am currently producing,” said Zimer. “My inspiration for the label was the wine itself. The product is deeply rooted in tradition, but reimagined for modern taste – a concept I chose to continue. A woman in a red dress is as timeless and sensual as a glass of wine. My job was to reimagine that in a modern, street art fashion.”
INTRINSIC Cabernet Sauvignon is now available in select restaurants and retailers US-wide, and online, at the suggested price of $22.