|Thursday June 15, 2001
This has been a tough week again. I have had a lot of trouble with the Starband installation. My signal is below the minimum required and I don't have faith in the current installer. It took him 5 weeks to get it to work and Monday he came back. Because I called Starband with the poor results, he had to realign the dish. He came here without any instruments and claimed when he left that he had fixed it. Well today I called back Starband and they told me that they may turn off the signal unless I get him back to set it correct. No way!! I am not calling this incompetent back!! I have found a new guy and hopefully he will know more. I have also ordered a digisat meter (the same instrument used for aligning) so I can learn from this new guy how to do the aligning my self. This will cost me a minimum of $400 (including the meter). But I must have the best possible reception. Remember I am a control freak and I strive for perfection.
I haven't mentioned my daughters much because I am sure most of you would rather hear about my winery. But let me assure you that at least one third of Pat's and my time is shared with our two teenagers: Kate who on June 23rd will be 16 and is proudly going to start driving by her self; and Susie (13 years) who I just spent time with preparing for a video to be shown at her party tomorrow in the winery. Pat does most of the busing around (we are way out in the country) and I prepare all the family dinners. I love to have some wine in the evening so I try to avoid all the busing of the girls during the evening hours. I hope Kate will gladly (?) bus Susie around next semester.
The temperature has been in the mid to upper 90's this week which has been fine with me. I still believe the best wine grapes from this area are produced from hot summers. This year as I have said will yield our first crop from vines planted in the last few years. We should have about a half ton from our new clone of petite sirah and about 500 pounds (or 15 cases) of mourvedre. We will also have some bunches from a new clone of zin and cab. Next year we should have our first crop of syrah. All this will be Estate Grown. Next year our plan is to cease buying fruit from our neighbors' We appreciate their contribution to some great wines, but I need more control. This year I will make an estimate on where our new Estate Fruit will go into our blends, but until harvest, it will only be a guess. Next year I will probably drop our varietal carignan and choose to make a new blend that will probably consist of carignan, petite sirah, mourvedre, syrah and zinfandel. If any of you have a name in mind for this new wine, please let me know.
Last night I opened three bottles of wine. One of my customers had remarked that he thought my 1999 petite sirah tasted a lot like cabernet. I have mentioned before that it had been a lot easier for me to enjoy petite sirah when I first arrived in Dry Creek Valley in 1979. I had been drinking nothing but Bordeauxs in the 70's so when I started drinking the local wines I found petite sirah to be more cab like than zinfandel. I have since acquired a great fondness for zinfandel, but I still enjoy cabernet and petite sirah as much. Zinfandel in certain years can be too fruity for me. I am happy to be in Dry Creek where in most years I believe the vines yield darker flavors.
Getting back to last night: I opened my 1999 petite sirah, 1999 Aca Modot and 1999 Estate Cuvee. After hearing that someone thought as I do that petite sirah can taste like cabernet, I was interested to see how the Aca Modot (mostly cab) would compare to my P.S. I was happy to be fooled on my first blind taste. I was surprised that the Aca had finally filled out to stand up to the petite sirah. The 1999 Aca Modot is very young and on previous tastings had not shown well. You see my judge of a long lived wine is that it will taste somewhat backward in bouquet at first, but still have a long finish. That is why I was happy that the Aca to my tastes was possibly a better wine last night. I still think the Estate cuvee needs time. All these wines were about 13.7 alc. , but the Estate Cuvee was much spicier at this time.
Tomorrow we recieve our new Press!!
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