David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Weeks 1 - 2
January 8, 2006 to January 21, 2006 

  Sunday January 8, 2006

I have a day off. We have been working hard setting up and blending the 2005 wines. I have only tasted a few, but I can say it looks like another good vintage. So far I am very happy with the Chardonnay which has a great bouquet and balance. The Fresco is even more impressive at this time with incredible forward fruit and complexity. We will probably bottle both these wines in April. I also liked the Pinot for the same reasons and we may bottle that wine in April also. I won't have my labels until June so these wines will not be released until then.

I have also tasted the Sangiovese which is heavier and more intense than last year and the Block 4 which is in the same style as the 2003 and 2004 vintages. Some barrel tastings are possible next weekend during WinterWineland.

Saturday January 14, 2006

I am still confused by wine. Every wine is so different, especially when influenced by food. For instance,  have a taste of a wine you like or not and then taste even a cracker and then taste the wine again and the wine will taste very different. That is why we here at David Coffaro Winery do not like to suggest food parings. Sure a food can influence a wine, but also every one of us perceives wine in a different way. Some of us, like I, love tannin while others like soft wines, A little residual sugar in chardonnays or zins can make them softer, but I feel character, complexity is lost. Also a great deal of oak can soften a wine. That brings me to the 2002 Joseph Phelps Insignia. I have heard it won the best wine of the year by the WineSpectator.

Lately my Mother has been giving me a check for xmas. With the money I have decided to purchase something I would not normally buy. This year it was a $100 bottle of Joseph Phelps Insignia. I opened it the other day and compared it to my 2002 Aca Modot, 2003 Aca Modot and Cabernet Sauvignon and my 2004 Aca Modot. Boy what a difference in style. The Insignia has a soft almost sweet smooth taste. It is so perfectly balanced but has no structure. My wines all had a rougher edge to them which I like. There are two reasons for the difference. The Insignia has a PH of 3.80 while my wines have a PH of about 3.50-3.60. That is a big difference in acid with mine being much higher. The Insignia has an apparent large amount of oak while my wines that I opened have only 30% new oak. Sure there is more complexity in my wines but I can see why the Insignia scored so well. Pat really liked it and didn't notice the oak. I liked it also because I like oak. But I feel too much oak can cover up the real character of a wine. At some point I will make a wine with more oak and satisfy many of us.

I am trying to like the rain again. When I was a child growing up in San Francisco I hated the rain, but then I learned rain was necessary. Well then I turned 20 in the 60's and the hippy movement was on. I learned to like rain and even go out with little clothing on to experience the energy rain produces. Then when I became a Farmer I started hating the rain again. In the summer rain can damage our grapes and in the winter it is not needed on this property since we have a well that never goes dry. It is raining again. I am trying to learn to like the rain again. I want to enjoy all aspects of life. 

Thursday January 19, 2006

I know all of us get into a routine. "Habitual, unvarying, unimaginative or rote procedure" ; I can't believe this definition in Websters. I am only talking about a few moments or days when you have done the same things at the same time. And you hope things will change and get interesting soon. I feel that way today. I am optimistic that maybe we are finally getting some recognition for our wines. No I have not entered our wines in competitions lately (we may again next year). But I feel from what customers are saying that I am on the right track. I am making new wines every year, and they are more different from each other. At the extremes, I have the 2005 Fresco that is so fresh and drinkable already and then I have the 2005 Escuro, 2005 Cabernet and 2005 Petite Sirah which will take some time to come around for most of you (I'll drink them right after they are bottled). The 2005 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will be drinkable early. The 2005 Terre Melange with the substitution of our new Estate Syrah instead of Carignan is much darker in flavor than past years and I hope it will appeal to most of you. Our best sellers Zinfandel, Estate Cuvee and Block 4 are similar in style to our 2003s and 2004s and I am sure will remain our best sellers. The 2005 Carignan, Barbera and Sangiovese are similar in style to last year with the Sangiovese a little heavier and more spicy. Finally we have racked the 2005 Late Harvest Sauv Blanc and it appears to be stable. The residual sugar is over 20%. Come and taste our barrel samples. 

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