|Tuesday October 28, 2003
Harvest is over! Catarino insisted on picking some more 2nd crop zin and cab from our vineyard. SO, today he spent 8 hours picking 374 pounds. But that is enough to make 12.5 cases of wine AND it looks special, because the sugar is over 26 brix. This lot will be mixed with some Alexander Valley Cabernet. This cab, which was picked Friday, came in at only 23.5 sugar and a potential alcohol of only 13% or so. We received almost 5 tons, enough for 14 barrels, and the wine had to be adjusted for low acid. I am hoping the resultant wine will have great character. Part of this wine will be used in the Neighbors' Cuvee. None of it will go into our Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. This Dry Creek Cab is tannic with incredible intensity. I am so excited about it and I hope most of you will come and taste the wine from the barrel.
Last week we received the rest of our Estate Cabernet. This fruit will be used in our Estate Cuvee. It always comes out with wonderful fruit with great cherry flavors. We already pressed it yesterday. By this Thursday after pressing, we will have all the fermenters empty. Then I will have all the components ready to taste for my blends. I am still planning to produce a 100% Estate Zinfandel, but the Estate Carignan will probably contain two barrels of Block 4. I'll explain more later.
Wednesday October 29, 2003
I am tasting the 2002 Block 4 tonight as well as some wines I opened last night. This Block 4 is wonderful, but the 2003 will be better. Now remember I think this, but all of us have different perceptions of wine. OR some of us say, a different palate for each and every wine. I love this 2002 wine, (and I had no trouble selling all 345 cases), but maybe not all of you will like the 2003 as well. The 2003 will be more extracted than the 2002. If any of you were smart enough to buy some of the 1999, I will say that the 2003 will be more like that wine. The 1999 Block 4 was 15.2 alcohol, by far the highest alcohol wine I have produced. I loved it, including everyone who related it to me. I feel the 2003 could top the 1999 in quality, but I have a problem!! If I took all the 2003 Block 4 barrels and combined them into one wine, I would have a concentrated wine with an alcohol of 15.5%. Some, maybe most of you would love it, but I am not interested in making a liqueur. I feel anything over 15% alcohol is less food friendly and I am primarily interested in producing wines that are pleasant to enjoy with all types of great food. I did love the 1999 and I do have to agree it is very pleasant with all types of food, so I am considering a statement wine, over the top, or a wine that one important customer once told me, "I want a wine that grabs me!" A wine at 15.5% alcohol would grab me. I may blend some lower alcohol peloursin into this 2003 Block 4. I isolated cuttings of peloursin from this old 100 year block. Peloursin is a great fruit driven wine with bright cherry flavors. I need your input. Come and taste the new wines, either this weekend (during our open house) or in the near future. This block 4 is only a minor part of my challenges for this great 2003 vintage, but it will be easy. The more great barrels I have to deal with, the easier the blending is.
Thursday October 30, 2003
Since our harvest is over, it is time to raise prices on our 2003 wines.
On Monday the new prices will go into effect. Also we have been starting
to place our new 2002 bottled wines to retailers. For now the only retailer,
who has taken these wines, discounts, so we have decided to raise our prices
only slightly for now. We have an open house this weekend, so the old prices
on both these vintages will still be held until Monday, November 3rd. I
must also inform everyone that Sunday will be the last day that we will
be able to sell our 2003 Barbera and Aca Modot, so stock up in the next
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