David Coffaro Vineyard
          and Winery Winemaker's Diary

arrow July 8 - July 14, 2012

Sunday July 8, 2012 

We are ready to bottle our 2011 wine aged 10 months starting tomorrow. It will probably be about 2200 cases. The wine out of the barrels is tasting great so I will look forward to tasting all the wines in the evening. No tequila next week, maybe a small amount tonight....it has been a trying week again.

The main development this past week was a meeting I had with my architect and contractor. Sonoma County has been giving confusing signs. Every new person involved has a different comment or angle. As I said a week ago the new inspector wants us to have wheelchair access through out the buildings and also a two hour firebreak between the downstairs storage area and the upstairs residence. I now plan to have a meeting with as many of the Sonoma County people in control as possible. One solution would be to ask for a change of the upstairs to storage building. No one lives there so who are we protecting from fire? It is supposed to be for marketing and promotion for distributors. We have no distributors and none of my customers stay overnight there. It will be interesting to see what they will require to convert the upstairs to a storage area. It could also be changed to a lunch or break room for employees. In either case we need to convert it over to a commercial floor.

I like my wine glasses. I like the feel and light weight of them. I believe as most other people into wine that a different shape or size of a wine glass can change the perceived taste of a wine BUT I also believe one swirl in any glass can change the taste of a wine. I believe wine glasses are way over rated. I believe Riedle glasses are a rip off. Sometimes on trips I have tasted wine out of a simple glass and enjoyed my wine just as much. Once about 20 years ago when I was really into Bordeaux wine and just getting started with Zinfandel and Petite Sirah I received a gift from my sister. It was a set of 4 pink plastic wine glasses. I tired them out and at times used them for many years. I really liked that they were very light and had grooved straight edges up the side of the glass so when you looked down from the top you saw an octagon shape. That made it easy for the flow of the wine into my mouth. As you know a complete round shape of a wine glass can be tricky if you sip off to the side. Eventually the plastic deteriorated and the glasses were discarded but I did enjoy them while they lasted. I had no spills on my shirt. The wine went straight into my mouth.

Tuesday July 10, 2012 

Yesterday we bottled our 2011 Estate Cuvee and our 2011 Zinfandel, both from our estate vineyard. We were supposed to bottle our Pinot Noir, but the labeler was not working correctly at first so we had to wait two hours for a service call. This is the same labeler that has given us trouble for 9 years. In the evening I opened those two wines and a 2009 Estate Cuvee and 2009 Zinfandel. To see how they compared, I opened a 2010 Chalk Hill Zin and a 2010 Neighbors' Zin. I was amazed I actually thought the 2011 Estate Cuvee was the best wine. Remember I like young wines so I thought it was slightly more vibrant than the 2009. The 2009 Zin and 2011 Zin were very close in enjoyment. For sure i am now convinced the 2011 Vintage and the 2009 will be similar, strong complex fruit. The 2010 wines were another story. Even though the two wines were aged 16 months and had been deacidified they were not similar to the other wines in character. As I have said before the 2010 vintage will be the wines that will last the longest of any of the wines I have made before. Last night both these 2010 wines were more intense and seem to need more time but I really enjoyed all the wines.

Today we bottled our 2011 My Zin, 2011 Pinot Noir, 2011 Aglianico and our 2011 Lagrein. I will compare them to 4 other wines and report back tomorrow. In all I will have 14 wines open, 6 from last night and 8 for tonight. It will be fun.

8:30 Pm:

I am in between watching the all star game and getting my espresso. I tried all the wines and I am still here. I have definite opinions. The 2011 Estate Cuvee still is the best wine after two days. The Aglianico was wonderful for me since I like extremely astringent wines for a sip or two. The 2011 Lagrein was disappointing, for that style I was expecting more. The 2009 and especially the 2010 blew it away for intensity. It had great complexity and fruit....too much in comparison.......the Estate Cuvee is a winner. The 2011 Pinot was a real winner. Even Pat who rarely tastes first day bottled wines enjoyed it. The 2010 Pinot Noir needs time as I figured. The 2011 My Zin has great balance but the 2009 was better. I will have more tomorrow.

Wednesday July 11, 2012

I am into extreme intense coffee....only a small cup in the evening after I have had some wine. It works for me, but I know of no one who enjoys it as much as I do that late at night. Some say it keeps them up at night, but the way I do it, espresso, has less caffeine and does not bother me.

I once tried a taste off of coffee beans. I purchased many samples from Sweet Maria's. I read all their strong opinions......they are as much into coffee (They call it cupping) than most of us here who are into wine and winemaking. They travel to far away places and also have samples delivered to Oakland and I have read their reviews. I like intense strong coffee and they are into complexity. I bet they like Pinot over Aglianico. SO years ago I started a blind taste. I Obtained a half pound of many types of un-roasted green beans. I roasted all samples the same. I chose beans that were acceptable for roasting dark, beyond second crack (terminology for very dark). I had to search for beans that could be roasted to a high intensity.....as I said Sweet Maria's people like lighter roasts. I made the coffee in my very good espresso machine and tasted the coffee at room temperature, of course blind. I found I liked Ethiopian beans the best and I have been roasting my own ever since.

Friday July 13, 2012

9:30 Pm:

It is another Friday the 13th and it was a good day so far. We finished bottling and I will have much to say tomorrow. Tonight I am relaxing and deciding what the next week will bring. There will be many things to accomplish.

Like I have said before I think I was a dog in my last life, but maybe a cat.....only kidding but I do think about my next meal. OK few of us would like it, but the food that follows is great!!

This will be my next meal:

Select some gizzards and hearts and liver if you please and set aside. Then drop two eggs in to a large bowl and beat. Pop a bunch of ranch dressing in and a lot of wine to cover the added chicken. Of course I put in many seasonings that may give some complexity, granulated garlic is a necessity. Let soak for an hour or many at room temperature....don't worry the wine will preserve any oxidation. Prepare some flour and seasoning. Start some oil, corn or peanut is what I like and bring to 375 degrees. In the mean time drain the chicken pieces but do not rinse. Toss them in a great deal of flour, paper bag or tightly closed bowl with a tight lid. Hold the top of the lid or bag and shake vigorously until the pieces are coated with the flour (Cajun corn flour mix works the best, but that is a longer story). At the right moment....375 degrees...drop all the chicken in at the same time. I have no problem maintaining at least 350 degrees because I use a 20 gallon stainless pot filled 40% with oil. Wait 2 minutes or until the pieces just start to rise to the top and then scoop out immediately....yum, yum.....

Saturday July 14, 2012

9:00 Pm: Pat is away in Modesto for a family function. I passed on the event because I needed a break. If I knew I had a few family members viewing my diary there... I wished i could be there. So this post is for Doll in Modesto. Doll, I have ice finally. I have so much ice now that some falls on the floor. i am so happy!! Why did it take so much time....to you all......go back in the diary if you want to know the history.

I will report on my impressions of all wines bottled last week but it will be tomorrow.

Sometimes I feel my mind is expanding. I know more so I have to use to control. It will be a challenge.

Tomorrow i will have more about my County dispute.....As you know I like challenges........


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