David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 13
March 26, 2000 to April 1, 2000 

Tuesday March 28, 2000 

We've tasted a number of wines in the last several days other than Coffaro. There was a '96 Clark-Claudon Cabernet, tannic, good balance, very dark fruit (92), a '96 Paoletti, tannic, more tart, good fruit, dark flavors, not as intense the second day (89), our '98 Aca Modot, very young, seemed to be flat the first day compared to the other three, improved dramatically the second day (90), '97 Ravenswood Pickberry, 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet, 5% Cabernet Franc, tannic, good fruit and balance, less dark flavors (I'm not a fan of Merlot normally but this was an intense wine), also improved the next day (94).

Tonight we tasted several 1998 Zinfandels. I received my shipment of Ridge '98 Zinfandels and could not wait to open them to try. There was the Ridge/Lytton Springs, good balance for a '98 Zin, good spice from either the oak or the fruit (88). The Ridge Sonoma Station, not as intense (85), the Ridge Paso Robles, the most alcohol, had good body and good balance, seemed to have more oak than the others (88), '98 Amphora, seemed to have some mint or spicy tones, good fruit, great food wine (90), and our David Coffaro Neighbors' Zinfandel, which had good balance (88). Again, my impressions of the 1998 vintage is that they are definitely less dramatic, intense, or fruit-driven than the 1997 vintage, but they are nonetheless great food wines and I enjoyed them immensely with our roast chicken tonight.

No, Pat and I did not finnish all these wines tonight. Brendan is coming tomorrow and I am sure he will enjoy to taste. What ever wine we do not consume in the next few days will be used for topping off our barrels. Tomorrow I am anxious to attend a vertical tasting of all Doug Nalle's zinfandels. Our grapes were part of his wines from 1991 to 1998 so I am proud to be invited to such a gathering. I hope to see some past friends and meet some new ones.

BTW, I am still averaging about 2000 calories a day and 500 is from wine. I have now lost 32 lbs since January 5th and I am still determined to lose another 25. 

Saturday April 1, 2000 

Yes the vines are all growing and we are going to have a record yield with the best quality ever. I wish I could be honest about that, but I would be FOOLING YOU. Honestly I can say, at this time we will not be having a light crop. The high temperature yesterday was 87 degrees and we may reach 90 today. I can safely say the potential yield from the carignan vines will be the best since 1997. The yield from our 2 acres of carignan vines has averaged 8 tons from 1979 until 1995. In 1996 we received 5.0 tons and in 1997  9.1 tons. 1998 saw a drop to 5.4 tons and in 1999 I was shocked when we harvested only 3.98 tons. I am concerned that the vines may be dying. I instructed Ryan to scatter a good amount of nitrogen in the hopes that the vines may start putting out more green growth. The green growth from this year will produce the fruit for next year. Last year we had a nice spring--ideal for the fruit set of this year. The carignan shoots have grown enough so far this year to determine that two bunches per shoot (average)may set fruit. Of course weather conditions if not ideal may hinder the amount of grapes that are formed. If the two apparent bunches do fill out I am hoping for a crop of at least 7 tons. The zinfandel vines have not grown enough to determine the potential crop. First indications are that they will yield a good crop also. I hope to get out to look at the petite sirah later today. 

I tasted blind our 1998 Carignan (90)compared to our 1998 Estate Cuvee (89)the other day. Again I preferred the carignan, It just seemed more spicy maybe from the barbera. We also tasted the 1997 Cabernet (88)compared to the 1997 Aca Modot (88). The cab had more fruit and had developed well. The Aca needs time and I wouldn't open a bottle for awhile.

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