Tuesday, November 9, 1999
Pat is down here tonight and willing to type, so I must make this short. For a change, I am going to make two negative comments.
The first subject consists of music. As many of you know, I am very proud of my music system, or you could call it my "entertainment center," or my surround system. Also, most of you who have been here know that I am a big fan of DTS. If you aren't familiar with DTS, it is too long a subject to go into in detail. Suffice it to say, that I think it's the best decoding system I've ever heard for audio. Just go out and buy "Gaucho" in DTS and compare it to the original album and you will know what I mean. Today, I received probably my favorite album of all time, Santana's "Abraxas" in DTS. I won't relate to you how many times I listened to this music by myself at my home in Fairfax, California, in fabulous bass and imaging. Brendan put on the DTS CD before I returned from a meeting this morning and said "you have to hear it." I told him I'd rather hear the original and then switch to the DTS recording to compare the two. At about 9:30 tonight, I did try the comparison. I started up the original CD and again was very impressed. I thought to myself "I don't see how anything could be better than this." But I thought the same about the "Gaucho" recording before I heard the DTS version. Immediately, I was very surprised by how big the sound was on the DTS version, but then I realized this was not the same recording I'd heard before and where was the bass? The bottom line is that I'm completely disappointed in the new version and I am very confused. Of course, I need to do more research.
Last Saturday once again we had many people come by the winery to do barrel tasting. As you might remember, I was at Susie's soccer game in the morning and Brendan took charge in the morning and early afternoon. I returned to the winery about 2:30 to take over. I was anxious to taste the wines again which I had not tasted for about a week. I was still very impressed by the Zinfandels and Cabernet Franc and Petite Sirahs, but I got adventurous right at the end of the day at about 4:30 and decided to try the Carignan from my newly budded over section of the vineyard. If you go back in the diary, you will remember this was a section I was hoping to get about 3/4 of a ton but we ended up with 1.6 tons from that area. I realize the wine had only been in the barrel for a few days, but I was extremely disappointed in the body of the wine. Seriously, it tasted only a little more intense than water. I immediately asked Brendan to taste it, and he agreed with me. I did have one of the customers who was diplomatic say it seemed like a blending wine. Things could change, but I doubt it. It appears that this Carignan will not be used in any of our wines this year.
Pat has just left and says I should end on a positive note: The old vine Carignan is really coming on! I am very happy with it and of course this wine will end up being all the Carignan in that "varietal" we plan on making. I was just hoping to use a little of the new Carignan in the Zinfandel blend, but that will not happen now. I've even joked that I could bottle it under a new label named after Susie's dog, Koovie.
On another positive note: Brendan and I pressed the first of the second
crop Cab Franc from Jones. In short we thought it was fabulous.