Wednesday July 5, 2006
We start bottling tomorrow. As most of you know this is a very trying experience. I hope to make an entry tomorrow to let you know how well or bad the adventure is going.
Thursday July 6, 2006
10:00 Am: We are trying to bottle. I say trying, because we are having a problem with one of our spouts. There are 12 spouts that fill with wine from a small tank (The tank holds about 10 cases). One spout must have something stuck in the small filler pipe that feeds it. The bottles coming off this spout are not filling to the right height, so after playing with it for 30 minutes we have decided to empty the small tank and take the spout apart.
11:50 Am: There were a few little pieces of sediment in the problem spout. It took about 30 minutes to clean and get going again. We are now over half through bottling our 2005 Aca Modot. The big tank is already filled with our 2005 Carignan and soon we will start bottling Carignan. Later today we will finish off bottling our 2005 Terre Melange.
The labeler is giving us a lot of trouble again. It keeps stopping and one time it tore the tape and it took us several minutes to thread it again. We hope by tomorrow things will be going better. So far today we have finished bottling 254 cases of Aca Modot. I actually have about 30 cases of 2005 Aca Modot to sell. If anyone is interested let me know. We will not be pouring it in the tasting room, except at our open house on August 19th.
Friday July 7, 2006
Yesterday went real poorly. We didn't finish until 8pm. The bottling
was over about 6:15, but preparation for today took another two hours.
Besides the Aca Modot we bottled 228 cases of Carignan and 244 cases of
Terre Melange. Today went much better. There was very little down time
and bottling was over about 3pm, but we just finished preparation
for tomorrow at 5:30pm. We ended up bottling 874 cases of 2005 My Zin.
I'll have more to say tomorrow.
Saturday July 8, 2006
For the last two days we have been bottling at a rate of about 150 cases per hour. That includes any down time which happens constantly, but consisting of far less time compared to our first day. 150 cases an hour is what I had hoped for with this bottling line. The labeler has given the most trouble. Today we bottled 340 cases of 2005 Escuro and 170 cases of our Barbera.
I am sure some of you are wondering what I think of these new wines. As usual I try a bottle of these new 2005 wines compared to last years vintage. They are so young it is hard to evaluate them. In all they are one dimensional which is to be expected since they have been put into the tank and SO2 was added. So far I have liked the My Zin and the Terre Melange even compared to last year. The Aca Modot needs time. I think it will be more complex than last year. The Carignan has more acid than last year so that may appeal to some of you. Tonight the new Escuro will be fun, but since it was so complex in the barrel it will suffer because of all the agitation is has been subjected to. Tomorrow we have a day off. We need it.
Sunday July 9, 2006
I gave everyone the day off today and Pat is with Susie at Husky orientation in Redwood City. Susie is heading off to Washington in September. I had to work the tasting room today since Matt had the day off also. I expected very few people since yesterday we had a total of 20 people, the slowest Saturday in a long time. BUT I was on my feet all afternoon. I went through atleast 60 classes. I need a glass of wine!!
Last night I tried the newly bottled 2005 Escuro. I loved it and have to say it is my favorite of the wines we have bottled so far. It has a leathery, mocha, creamy character that is fascinating to me.
Tuesday July 11, 2006
This bottling schedule is catching up with me. I am exhausted tonight. Yesterday we bottled 341 cases of our 2005 Sangiovese (smooth great balance--far better than the 04 in my opinion). Also we bottled the latest Pendleton Estate wines. We did only 132 cases of Russian River 2005 Zinfandel from the Ponzo vineyard and a Petite Sirah. I produced the wine for the Pendletons, but Mich Pendleton, my best friend decided on the blend.
Today we bottled our 2005 Petite Sirah. It is a blend of mostly 4 different petite sirah vineyards in Sonoma County including our Estate. I tasted it tonight compared to the 2005 Pendleton Petite Sirah and our 2004 Petite. It was easy for me to recognize the wines even when tasting them blind. The 04 had good fruit and structure. Some may say it was still not balanced and had an astringent finish. Astringency for me is good. I love wines that grab me. The 2005 was my favorite tonight. It had great tannin and structure already. The Pendleton is more like my 2003 Petite Sirah with higher alcohol and fruit than the 2004 and 2005 Coffaro. Again I like tannin and I may not like the same wines as you. If you liked the 2003 Petite which did have some tannin, you may want to contact Pendleton.
Tomorrow we bottle our Cabernet, Pinot and Price Family Zinfandel. It will be our most trying day, but we will be ready. I may get to bed by 11pm for a change.
Wednesday July 12, 2006
We were ready for today's action. We had very few stoppages, (down time) so we sent Catarino and his two helpers, one his son Jose (A great worker) home at 3pm. Matt and I finished up at 5pm. Tomorrow will be Block 4. We have 4 storage areas now after connecting two buildings together. It has been a very interesting experience to coordinate the placement of all these wines. Since the 2005 Block 4 barrels were stored way in the back Zzzzzzzzzzzzz
Thursday July 13, 2006
6:00Am: Yes I fell asleep last night at the computer. It was a long day yesterday. Let me continue: Since the 2005 Block 4 barrels were stored way in the back of the 4th storage area I decided to bottle that wine as one of our lasts. So when the empty bottles came last week I stuffed them in forward of the Block 4. We were delivered 6000 cases of empty bottles (glass) and we learned long ago we do not store them out in the heat. It's been up to 104 a few days ago and the forecast is for another round of 100+ degree days. Years ago when we did store the glass out in the heat, the glue started melting on the boxes. As we bottle I have to find a place for all the newly bottled cases. That is a puzzle that must be looked at everyday. Yesterday I had to get the Block 4 out from way back in the corner. That required me to pull out all the Zin and Estate Cuvee AND also all the empty glass in front of it. In all I had to move 70 different things whether it was barrels of wine or glass. After planning it I started at 7am and finished at 10am after moving all the zin and estate cuvee and glass back in and this time in the right order. Could I have thought about it so that I had a better order last week? I guess so, but it worked out fine yesterday, but I was tired.
Last night I re-tasted the three petite sirahs along with the 05 Cab, Pinot and Price Family Zin. I really like the Price Zin for it's complexity and the Pinot for it's dominate fruit. The cab needs time. At first tasting it sure did not have the tannin and structure of the 2004 Cabernet. It was softer, but more complex. Friday we are having some friends over for pizza since we will have the 2005 Zinfandel bottled that day. It will be fun to compare the My Zin, Price Zin and Estate Zin together.
10:00pm: I loved the 2005 Block 4 we bottled today. I thought it compared so much with the 2004 that I had trouble distinguishing them if I did not smell them. The bouquets are very different. Of course the 04 is more developed. Kate came home tonight and she agreed with her Mother that all the 05s are too young to enjoy. I still find it hard to understand why I have no trouble deciding which wine at this stage I will like. I have been surprised sometimes in the past, but by next week I will tell you what I like. That may not be what you like. We are all individuals.
Tomorrow we bottle the Estate Zin and Saturday we bottle the last wine, the Estate Cuvee for 2005. Not quite the last because we bottle the 2005 Zp2c on August 15th.
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