|Sunday August 13, 2006
When we left here on July 21, we had already had two heat spells. Then the day after we left it got up to 113 degrees here. That is one of the highest we have recorded here. At temperatures that high there is always some burning, but the old vines look great and I am hoping for good quality. Time will tell, but it looks like Harvest will start about the 10th of September within a few days of normal.
Next Tuesday we will bottle our 2005 ZP2C.
Wednesday August 23, 2006
The 2005 zp2c was bottled. I could go into more detail, but I am disappointed in the fill level again. I hope to go into more detail in the future. The bottom line is all the 2005 is bottled and I am happy with the quality. The bottle situation has no bearing in the quality.
I know I make a lot of different wines, mostly blends. I am planning to make the ultimate blend and may call it that or maybe the ultimate Cuvee. I now have plans to make a wine that will be a blend of most everything I make. I know you think right upfront I am already doing that with our zp2c, but remember the zp2c is the bottom of the barrel. This new wine will be all the top of the barrel of what I think will make the ultimate Cuvee. What do you think?
Thursday August 24, 2006
I have more information on our new wine. It will be probably be called "The Ultimate Cuvee". I will decide on the blend after making all the regular blends in January. Meaning, I may blend Block 4 with My Zin, Cab or Petite Sirah or anything else, but not until after the barrel tasting in March. What will happen is, all along when I am tasting wines from January after our first blending up until the end of March when we rack for the second time, I will take note of special barrels and keep them separate for The Ultimate Cuvee. Like I say they could be from any of our wines that were blended in January. Most likely one barrel will be from Block 4, one from Petite Sirah and one from one of our Zinfandels. The final barrel will be from one of our other wines making up a final blend of 100 cases. I do not want to restrict myself to just 4 barrels so in some years I may blend 5 or 6 or even part of a barrel, but in the first year or so I will bottle small lots. What I will be looking for is balance in the wine.
For years before I started this winery. I would open up wines in my kitchen and start blending to see how the blends would turn out. I found I had a knack for deciding what amount of each wine worked the best. In the last several years I have been more interested in just tasting my wines and deciding which wines I liked the best. In the past few months I have started blending individual wines to see if I could make a better blend. For instance, last night I blended 04 Block 4 with 04 Petite Sirah and 05 Terre Melange and preferred the blend to any of the components. I love all three wines, but the Petite Sirah can be too one dimensional, and the Block 4 too fruit driven, of course in my opinion. In the next many months it will be fun for me again to see what I come up with by blending my newly bottled 2005s. I hope to keep you posted. The Ultimate Cuvee 2006 will go on sale officially on April first, right around our new offering of 2007 Futures. Those of you who are interested in purchasing ahead of time need only send me an e-mail.
Like I said yesterday I am disappointed in the fill levels in the bottles I have tried. I get samples every year and pour exactly 750 mls into the bottle to see how high to set our filler. One milliliter too high can amount to one bottle lost in every 62.5 cases. That amounts to 5 cases when bottling 6250 cases. Almost all the bottles I have checked lately have filled to a lower level than last year. What I know is that the molds used to produce the glass bottles wear out and require replacing at some point. Hopefully I can find a new bottle next year or the molds at some producers will be replaced. I used a Mexican bottle this year and was very happy at first, but our second shipment evidently came for a different factory. We found out we lost several cases of wine because the bottles required 3 mls more than the first batch to fill to the same height. After two wines were bottled in the second week I noticed we had bottled less cases than I had hoped for. I measured the bottle and found that this screwcap bottle filled to a level down 2.25 inches. I would like 1.50 inches down form the top, but I would be happy with 1.75. I don't want too much headspace when I bottle, but maybe it would be a good thing. I am rethinking this whole thing concerning headspace in screwcaped wines. Maybe I do want more headspace, because then the wine will age a little faster. If you have tried one of our 2003 wines bottled with a screwcap you will notice it has aged very little. They are wonderful now after two years in the bottle.
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