July 10, 2011
I will be tasting a few of the 2010 wines again tonight. Tomorrow I will taste a few again but before that around 5pm tomorrow I will have a little tequila. I need a break!
In a month or so I will be able to decide which of the 2010 wines I prefer, but I will make a few comments about my first impressions. First, the Zinfandel based wines have a distinct character that I have not tasted in past vintages. I am not good at describing that taste, but I assume it is a quality that was developed during the heat spell at the end of August 2010. It is distinctive enough that I will reserve judgment until later this year. We have had a few customers in here during bottling and all of them seem to like these wines so time will tell.
High acid is one striking fact that I mentioned in past diary entries. Our two Estate Zinfandel blends (Zin and My Zin) almost have as much acid as our Barbera so if you like Barbera you will love these wines. I am hoping the wines aged another 6 months will be a little more toned down. Even the Block 4 is higher in acid than in the past. Right now these wines remind me of our 1999 Zinfandel. That wine had enough acid to age well even sealed with an artificial cork. These wines are higher in alcohol but I believe they will age longer than any of our past vintages. I will wait on these Zinfandel blends and for now consume the 2008 and 2009 vintage.
The 6 new Zinfandel wines blended from other vineyards are lower in acid but still show a little of the character. Maybe I am picking up the taste of very young wines. I enjoyed all of them including the RaiZin. Yesterday we bottled the 2009 Zp2c aged 22 months that I mentioned in the last diary. I preferred the 2009 Zp2c that was bottled last August. The 2009 bottled yesterday was too smooth for me but it should get more complex and I think most of our customers who purchase some of the 20 cases will love it.
The 2010 Estate Cuvee is an exception. Even though it has 29% Zinfandel (Actually the lowest percentage from any of our past vintages), it has over 30% Cabernet and is also blended with Carignan and Petite Sirah. It is already tasting great and shows none of the sensation I mentioned earlier. I also think the Pinot turned out great and the Terre Melange is already smooth. The Carignan and the Aca Modot are wonderful right now. The 2009 versions are showing a little better but a few months could see these 2010 wines leap ahead.
For me the best wines from the vintage are the heavier extracted wines. That is usually the case with me so you may think differently. Last Tuesday we bottled the Lagrein and Petite Verdot and I have tasted for 5 nights. I love these wines. On Wednesday the 2010 Cabernet was bottled and opened. I was amazed at the intensity. It is way too young to taste on its own but I still enjoyed it with food and I feel it could be the best Cabernet we have produced.
Yesterday we bottled the 2010 Petite Sirah and Escuro. Wow, it could be the night but I thought those were my favorites of the vintage. Already the Petite Sirah blew away the 2009 in intensity. The 2010 vintage was the first year I have seen raisins on Petite Sirah clusters so maybe that was a good thing. The 2010 Escuro is showing almost as well as the 2008. I did not open the 2009 Escuro because it is lower in alcohol and seriously I already have over 30 wines opened since Tuesday.
I am making pizza tonight so I will be tasting a few of the zins again and of course my several favorites.
Saturday July 16, 2011
It has been another complicated week, every week is new. I love politics so the "Raise the Cap" controversy is interesting. Let's raise the cap or my Google stock could go back down.
The most important and hardest decision at the winery occurred this week. We decided to cancel our Club dinner. Wine Club members received an invitation to our 9 course wine paired dinner for only $65. The menu I saw today from our caterer Matt looked amazing. Out of 850 e-mail invitations sent out we had only around 15 Club members accept, a total of 30 people. Of course most of our Club members live more than 20 miles away and our winery is on Dry Creek Rd, a very unfriendly road to travel late at night. It was nice that we had other requests from friends of friends to fill up 60 places, but in the end we need to re-think Wine Club dinners in the future because it should be a reward for Club members.
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