David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

February, 2010 

Monday February 1, 2010

Today is the last day to get the lowest prices for our 2009 Futures. Almost all the wines will go up by $1 tomorrow morning. 

Like I said last week we are setting up to bottle tomorrow and Wednesday. I can't wait to try the 2008 Zin we have had in the barrel for an extra 6.5 months. I tried the 2008 Zin out of the barrel yesterday and I was very impressed. Also of course I will anxious to taste the 2008 The Ultimate Cuvee. I will get back to you about what I think. 

Wednesday February 3, 2010

5:00Pm: We are just finishing up bottling our 2009 Rose. Earlier today we bottled our 2008 The Ultimate Cuvee, our 2008 Special bottling of Zinfandel and our 2009 Sauv Blanc. I will taste all those wines tonight and in a few days I will report back with my impressions.

Thursday February 11, 2010

I have tasted three times the 4 wines we bottled last week. I love young wines and I love to see how they taste after a few days open. The 2008 The Ultimate Cuvee has become my favorite wine. In 2008 my favorites are the 2008 Escuro, 2008 Block 4 and 2008 Petite Sirah so I am not surprised to find out I love the 2008 The Ultimate Cuvee because it consists of 50% Block 4, 25% Escuro and 25% Petite Sirah. I may change my mind over the next several months because I still love the 2008 Escuro after a few days open. Those of you who are in Dave's Club will receive a bottle of 2008 The Ultimate Cuvee in your next 6 pack shipment. We have changed the shipping schedule of our Club to only two shipments of 6 bottles (Only $120 including shipping and sales tax). Our next shipment will go out in the third week of April. Here is a link to the rules of Dave's Club.

We did also bottle our 2008 Zinfandel aged an extra 6 months. If you like more spice and oak you will just love this wine. And if you like strong acidic Sauv Blanc like I do, you will go crazy over the 2009 Sauv Blanc. I have had a glass of it every night since we bottled. The 2009 Rose is great also but we will not have labels for the sauv blanc or rose for a month. You can purchase the 2009 Sauv Blanc or 2008 The Ultimate Cuvee on Futures here before they go up in price at the end of April. At that time we will also release the 2008 Zinfandel (Special Bottling) and our 2009 Rose. If you are interested in purchasing those two wines not, just shoot me an e-mail or call. Dave's Club will receive an offer to purchase the Rose and Zin when their shipment goes out in April 

Saturday February 20, 2010

I have to admit I like Elvis!! I hated Elvis as a young teenager because I heard he was so great. In all of my life, in anything, I have said Prove it to me! So I waited to see. I grew up in San Francisco away from THE music that was happening in the 50's, East Coast, South, sure not here. I heard great music on TV shows where they would mark down the top big hits of the week. Just like Dick Clark they rarely mention Elvis SO until I heard a song I liked I thought he was a nothing. Then in 1958 I heard "Mean Woman Blues" In 1958 in San Francisco, sitting listening to a small radio I discovered Elvis. Still to this day That is one of his bests. I hear now there is a show in Vegas. I might have to go.

We have decided to bud over some vines. I will have more to say tomorrow.

I needed to do some inspiring!

Sunday February 21, 2010

We have a lot of vines in our vineyard planted to Petite Sirah. Each year we have sold more Petite Sirah wine, but unless we see a dramatic increase in sales in the next few years I need to sell some Petite Sirah grapes to other wineries or I have to bud some of the vines over to another varietal. I also could do some marketing which could involve some travel or night time work, but I do not like traveling especially on a plane and I love to have my evenings free to cook and taste wine, my escape from a long day.

We also have some varietals that were planted in 2005 on some of our best soil. Those vines are now producing near capacity. We produced two barrels of each of those wines last year and I got to taste them before they were blended, mostly into our 2009 Escuro. I have not been impressed with the Tannat we have planted or the Touriga. I planted Tannat in 2004 and 2005, a total of three rows, to add color and tannin to our wines. It does have color and some tannin but has little distinctive fruit. I wasn't necessarily hoping for characteristic fruit but without the tannin and color I was hoping for I have decided to bud over two rows. The Touriga has some distinctive fruit and some color but I think the Aglianico and especially the Alvarelhao has more to offer, so I will bud both of the two rows. The varietal I am most surprised by is Lagrein. I have tried many Italian Lagreins and also one made by Whitcraft in the central Coast. Those wines did have character but surely did not have great depth of color. The Lagrein planted in some of our best soil is the darkest wine I have ever seen and it has great distinctive fruit profile. I thus have decided to bud over the 4 rows mentioned earlier to Lagrein. That should give us the potential of 4 tons, 12 barrels or about 250 cases. Some of that wine will be used for our Escuro and we will be producing a 100% varietal in two years. We did produce a 2009 Lagrein with 25% Petit Verdot. This coming year we will probably produce a wine with at least 75% Petit Verdot. We may also produce a small amount of Lagrein.

Now to get back to Petite Sirah.....I love Petite Sirah but like I said we have too much planted, enough now to produce 800 cases. Of course some of those grapes are used for blending into our My Zin, Estate Cuvee and possibly our Escuro this year. We did use Petite Sirah in our 2006 and 2007 Escuro with great results. I plan to bud over some of the Petite Sirah to Zinfandel.

I am very surprised by a section of our vineyard planted to a new clone of Zinfandel. We planted 4 rows, about 1.5 tons, in 2006. This year we kept it separate and produced a wine to be sold to members of our Wine Club. I have been pleasantly surprised that it tastes very different than our 100+ years old Zinfandel. I seems to have more jammy character and even fuller body than our old vines. The wine in the barrel is very young but I have tasted enough and so I have decided to use the wood from those vines to bud over the Petite Sirah. The Petite Sirah is grown in a richer soil so I expect Zinfandel to have a different character. In 2011 we should have our first small crop from the new Lagrein and Zinfandel.

The Wine Guerrilla is one of the reasons to bud over to some Zinfandel. We have been custom crushing for Bruce, The Wine Guerrilla, for several years. He has been very successful and now wants to increase production. Unlike us he sells mostly to restaurants and retailers. At this time he is only producing Zinfandel wine. Over the years he has purchased Zinfandel from many different vineyards. He has been most impressed with our second crop Zinfandel and two vineyards owned by Forchini Winery. This year I have decided to start selling him some of my first crop Zinfandel. Last year we did sell him a mixed section of mostly Zinfandel. We had previously used this fruit for our Block 4 blend. It actually comes from our first block so I am willing to let it go and keep the Block 4 only from our fourth block. Bruce will call his new 2009 wine Block One, a fitting name. Starting next year I will start selling Bruce more of our Zinfandel fruit.

On average over the last ten years, we have produced 5,000 cases. By selling more fruit to Bruce our production will go down. I want to sell wine at lower prices. If we produce under 4,500 cases we will start selling out of wines more quickly. That way I hope to sell more Futures. I want to have a reputation for selling great wine at reasonably prices. Our new 2010 Pre-Harvest Futures will go on sale at the end of March as usual. My costs have gone up dramatically so I will raise my price by one dollar ($16 for most wines), but those in The Vintage Circle will be able to purchase Zinfandel for $14 and those in Dave's Wine Club will be able to purchase most of the wines for $13. Where else can you purchase Dry Creek Zinfandel for half price? 


Last night I had some great fun. I opened four wines, not unusual. Pat is off visiting Kate so I was alone. There obviously is a lot of wine left over for Pat to taste when she arrives home. I opened four 2008 wines: The David Coffaro 2008 The Ultimate Cuvee, my 2008 Block 4, my 2008 Escuro and my 2008 Petite Sirah. The 2008 The Ultimate Cuvee was just bottled a few weeks ago. It was aged an extra 6 months in one year old barrels. It is a blend of 50% 2008 Block 4, 25% each of 2008 Escuro and Petite Sirah. So I had a blind taste of The Ultimate Cuvee against a blend I made up last night of exactly 50% Block 4, 25% Escuro and 25% Petite Sirah from the wines bottled in July last year. I was somewhat surprised. The 2008 The Ultimate Cuvee was much smoother. Even though it was just bottled it seemed to be more together. I loved the blend I made up also. It just bursted out of the glass with more intensity but with some rough edges. It will be fun to taste them again tonight with Pat. 


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