David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Weeks 29-30
July 16, 2000 to July 29, 2000 

Wednesday, July 19, 2000 

We will be leaving tomorrow for a weeks vacation. I really don't know if I would call it a vacation, since I will have to drive to Las Vegas by way of Carmel and Irvine. I am not looking forward to driving as much as 1500 miles in a week. As long as I can get a great meal and wine at the end of the day, I guess I will survive. We will be back on July 28 and be open that Saturday. I must get ready to leave tomorrow so I will be back in contact later. I do plan on bringing my laptop so you never know, I may be in the mood to write. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Well were back a few days early. We decided not to go to Vegas, but still I drove over 1300 miles in five days. It is good to be home. 

Good news!!!! We have contracted with the owners of the Pinot vineyard we have made wine from in the last two years. The price will be $2500 a ton and thus would equate to $25 retail. Please call if you are interested in purchasing 2000 futures at $18 a bottle. We are also offering 2000 Block 4 at $18. 

I know several of you are interested in knowing my opinion of our newly bottled 1999 wines. First of all I am the winemaker, but my opinion will probably be different than yours. I've said before, I am making these wines in the style that I like. 

1999 Pinot Noir: This wine was cold soaked for a week and then fermented fast and hot (in 2000 I will not cold soak---I feel it is detrimental to what I want to do). It is extracted and with high acid will age for a very long time. I like it, but remember I am not a Pinot fan. 

1999 Sauv Blanc: (bottled in Feb.) I like this wine, but it also is on the high acid side. The local restaurants are selling a good amount of this wine so I assume it is a good food wine. I am so short in supply that I have actually not sat down to see what I think of it with a good appetizer. I almost always order a bottle of Sauv Blanc when we go out to dinner. The alcohol is also too high and I want to harvest earlier this season. We have two sections of S.B. exactly as we have two sections of Cab Sauv. Both are in well drained soil, but the sandy loam of the bottom yields higher acid and leaner spicier tones for both  the S.B. and the Cab. On the S. B. I want to harvest more from the higher area near the Aca Modot site to achieve more extraction and lower acid. 

1999 Aca Modot: This wine is showing great fruit, but is so tart I can't even enjoy it. I thought the 1998 Aca would out live me----I think maybe the 1999 will out live some of our children. I will try it again tomorrow and taste it over several days. Don't get me wrong---this is a first class wine which I believe would compete with many of those overpriced $100++ wines. We have already sold over 230 cases of 2000 and we only made 255 in 1999. I know many of you feel I should raise my prices, but honestly this wine cost us less than a dollar more to make---I feel I am already charging enough even though if we sell out this fast, our average price is only moderately higher than our other wines. 

1999 Carignan: I have only tried this wine twice and found it to be good, but unexciting (13.3 alc). It is less extracted than the others and has a chalky tart finish. I am in the minority since we sold more of this wine on the 15th than any other. Don't get me wrong--it is drinkable and enjoyable, but I don't think it will age for more than 5 years. 2000 will be something different: more back to the style of 1998, but much more extracted (15% alc.) 

1999 Block 4: (I am drinking this wine tonight.) It has a spiciness and balance that is unique. It doesn't show it's 15% alc and I really haven't made up my mind yet. Everyone that has tried it has been amazed. 

1999 Estate Cuvee: (I am drinking this wine tonight.) I wasn't that captivated by this wine before bottling, but I have sure changed my mind. I really feel it is a much more interesting wine than the Block 4 tonight. Cherry, spice and at 13.6 Alc all the match of the Block 4. This is another wine I could charge as much as I want for. I would lose many of you, but this wine is unique and could never be duplicated in any other winery or vineyard. Don't worry unless that dreaded sharpshooter comes in I will not raise my prices. As a matter of fact we have lowered our retail prices on all our wines. 

1999 Petite Sirah: I was very impressed with this wine before bottling. I have only tried it a couple of times in comparison to the Zin and thought it lacked the character. I will try it again in the next few days. 

1999 Cab Franc: I have tried this wine several times--mostly the same night as our Zin. It is somewhat floral and complex. It is selling very well. 

1999 Zinfandel: This wine has given me my greatest surprise. I can't keep my hands off of it. Even Pat likes it!!! I thought it was a great wine at harvest, but I thought it suffered in comparison to the Petite Sirah and Cab Franc before bottling. NOT so now. It is clearly the most interesting wine. And since I have 200 cases for sale now that we dropped our distributor, any restaurant, retailer or customer will be able to purchase it. 

These wines are so young and need a great deal of time to come around. I love tasting them every week, but I would suggest that if you do choose to pick up the wine in the near future---don't consume them now. In the next few Saturdays, we will have open all our wines that we do have for sale. Please join us. We will be entering our Cab Franc and Zin in the Sonoma County Harvest Fair (the only wines we have enough to sell), but expect that they will be too young to win a gold. 



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