|Tuesday April 16, 2002
Wine is wonderful. I used to drink Rum and cokes, but wine cured me of that. I tried my 2000 Syrah tonight and was surprised that I could get fruit. I know I have said that I am not a big fan of syrah, but some Australian wines are very good and also Limerick Lane and Everette Ridge wines can be great. Unti has also made a syrah that should be tried. Of course Preston has made a syrah longer than most of us and Amphora could make one of the best.
We finished blending last week. It went well. Brendan and Steve are getting too good at this. They made no mistakes that I could detect. Of course I was doing my taxes. If they keep up this good work, I could lose my job as winemaker. The blending changed little. All of the wines, that were blended in January, were just taken out of the barrels and mixed up in our tank to aerate and combine the different oak barrels we have. We did blend two wines for the first time, ZP2C and Pinot Noir. We have bought an extra barrel (59 Gals) of Pinot Noir from J Company in the Russian River area to blend with our pinot that was already oversold. Any of you who have already tasted the previous wine need to come back and taste again. Those of you who are too far away to come back will hopefully be satisfied with what I have created. The new blend has more fruit and less alcohol. It still is not light weight and has more balance than before.
Our 2001 ZP2C is a new style for me. This wine in the past has been mainly from the bottom of the barrel, all the clear wine collected from the sediment. Then in all the past years I have added some petite sirah bought from Lambert Bridge Winery. This Petite Sirah Bulk in barrel (not yet bottled) had some good tannins that gave the wine some structure. This year I am determined to see what will happen if I don't add this petite sirah. It will be all from the bottom of the barrel. I can always change my mind at the end. After my initial tastes, the wine seems to need some guts, but has great fruit. Remember I am a cab lover.
I just got a fax from my local chem lab. They do analysis on our wine samples. Now I see that they will do a test on our corks before we use them to bottle. Most of you know I use artificial corks, because real corks can be contaminated with a bacteria called 2,4,6-trichloranisole (TCA). This is nasty stuff. If you were tasting a wine for the first time, it would be hard to detect that TCA in small amounts had spoiled the wine. One of the Rhone wines that Everett, (my customer who provides me with valued input) gave me recently was tainted enough that I could not evaluate the wine.
This Lab, for $105 will evaluate a batch of corks for TCA. They will also evaluate individual wines for $90 (?). It is documented that 2-3% of the corks on the market are tainted with TCA. That is why we use synthetic corks.
Friday April 19, 2002
I went out to sulfur yesterday morning. Remember sulfuring is necessary to keep a dry form of mildew off the grape bunches. This sulfuring must be done every two weeks and after each rain. As I was going up and down the vine rows, I noticed that the crop level in the Block 4 and Aca Modot areas looked to be above normal. Thus, I have removed the limits on the 2002 order form for those two wines. I apologize for the limits initially, but I had to be cautious, because in a low yield year I could produce less than 200 cases of the wines. Those of you who are interested in adding to your order, or even re-configuring what you have already ordered, can call, fax, e-mail or process another order directly over the internet.
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