David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 3
January 14, 2001 to January 20, 2001 

Monday January 15,  2001

The day after! Yes Kate and I went to the game. I didn't get much sleep the night before (remembering that we lost 51 to 3 in 1990-the last time we played in the championship game. After I heard that the Vikings lost 41 to 3 I got concerned before the game. I was a zombie since I had 2 hrs sleep, but we cheered mightily. The Ravens have a great defense and we turned the ball over. To win next time, we need two new safeties (preferably as great as Atkinson and Tatim) along with a new tight end and wide receiver; and then no one will be able to stop us. Of course every team has to keep their Quarterback healthy,  so we need to give our back up some experience next year. The Raiders are back!! 

Brendan and I decided to bring in a small reliable company to filter our lees. Lees are the cloudy wine left from the bottom of the barrel after we blended last week. This is the first time we have filtered any of our reds, but since Limerick Lane recommended these new guys I knew they would come through. I still know little about filtering. I know a tight filter can strip all bacteria out of a wine. A loose filter will take only small particles out. Of course some of us think that any amount of filtering may eliminate the character of a wine. The question that must be asked: What creates complexity? What makes a wine age? How much does tannins influence the aging of wine? Will filtering change the character of a wine and how? Today, the fact is that by filtering instead of letting the wine settle naturally, we have have picked up an additional two barrels. That is 50 more cases!!! We will let you know what we think of the quality. 

Thursday January 18,  2001

I tasted several of our wines today. I really don't like to taste during the day, because I do better in the evening. But sometimes it is necessary. I wanted to evaluate our filtered wine compared to our unfiltered blended wines. I pulled samples of our 2000 Mourvedre, the Jones Cabernet that we received for just the cost of picking and the filtered blend of all our wines. I really think we have some heavy concentrated wines again this year, but my first taste of this filtered Zp2c (I'll call it by that name for now) was very disappointing. Sure I gained 2 extra barrels, but at the expense of what? I called Julia my great friend from Lambert Bridge Winery for her opinion. She feels that the color and intensity will come back. Since I don't have any experience with filtering, I will keep my hopes up. I understand that filtered wine does take much more time to come around. 

The Mourvedre was interesting (complex) if not inky and the biggest surprise was the Jones Cab. It is not an intense Cab, but has definitely picked up some body. Therefore I have some hope that the zp2c filtered wine will improve. 

WinterWineland is this weekend, and since we have not participated before, we are not sure how many quests will show up. because our wines were just blended last week, I am a little concerned that they will not show well. I have heard that over 4000 tickets have been sold, but unlike Passport (only 20 wineries) there are over 70 wineries to visit and there is no way to visit all. 

Friday January 19,  2001

I just received a nice e-mail from a fellow winemaker. He states, in his opinion, lees filtered wine is never of "great" quality.  He uses it exclusively to top off barrels.  It is usually thin and somewhat flavorless, and he doesn't  think it will "come around" much, if any. 

I have been very happy with what we get from just settling the lees after a couple of months, but we get about 40% recovery rather than 60% from filtering. I am trying to make the best quality wine I can, so this will be the last time I filter. I am not in this business to make a few extra thousand dollars at the expense of quality. I will keep you informed if there is any change in the quality of this wine as the months go by. Luckily we will be blending two more times and will be able to use that wine from the bottom of the barrel to use in our ZP2C.



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