David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 19
May 7, 2000 to May 13, 2000 

Tuesday, May 9, 2000 

Well I knew it would happen!! I have to accept what has happened in respective. I finally received a low rating by the most respected publication. The WineSpectator. We received an 80 rating on our 1998 Estate Zinfandel. I have respect for James Laube even though being the winemaker I do not agree with such a low rating. James if I remember prefers as I do a wine with more concentration. I agree my 1994 through 1997 zins are more concentrated, but our 1998 Estate Zin will improve. James wrote: David Coffaro Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Coffaro Estate Vineyard 1998 $24  A glimpse of cherry and berry quickly turns dry, austere and simple. Drink now. 675 cases made--J. L.

I agree with most of what he says except that this wine will improve. As you have noted in this diary I have tried to be up front about my wines. Brendan and I have told you from day one (look in the diary starting in the fall of 1998) that we were concerned about our 1998 Estate Zin, but we have been happy that it has turned into a good wine. We have been frank from the beginning that zinfandel wines in 1998 will be a challenge to any winemaker. We feel we have made two good zinfandel wines in 1998 that will improve (Estate and Neighbors'). We have been happy with the progress of our 1998 Estate cuvee, 1998 Petite Sirah, 1998 Carignan and 1998 Aca Modot which we think could be the best wines of those type yet produced from our winery.

As you may tell I am upset, but upbeat that our wines can still compete with any in this tough vintage. Let me end with a recommendation of some of the zinfandels in our area for this 1998 vintage that I have tried. Wilson which is new is nice with pepper (Ken where is my case I want to buy?). Quivera is very nice similar to ours. Everett Ridge has nice pepper also and I have a case (thanks Jack). I also have some Dashe and want to buy some Unti. I am also impressed with Amphora and have bought a case. Limerick Lane has not been released, but the bottle I had is possibly the best of the vintage (where is my case Ted?) All of these wines are good food wines and should be considered good wines that will surprise with aging. I really think these wines have enough character and acid to age for a very long time, but do not consume them now. Drink your 1997 wines first.

Wednesday, May 10, 2000 

Well I am not surprised!! Every year at this time our local paper (The Press Democrat) mentions the bad weather we are having. There is one particular reporter who interviews a few concerned grape growers and vineyard managers. This will be my 22nd year of growing grapes from our vineyard. Every year we have had rain at this time and every year there is an article about potential damage to the crop. I know, growers and vineyard managers are trying to suggest that the price for grapes should go up. So far what I can remember from the past, this season has been pretty normal.

I have an update on my diet. My birthday was May 3 as I said last week. I did gain as much as 4 lbs twice over the last 10 days, but I am happy to report that I am back down to my low today. I am down to 228 lbs---39 lbs from my high. I want to lose another 20 lbs which  would put me lower than any time since 1970.    

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