|Tuesday November 21, 2006
I have it all figured out! I already know most of what I will blend without even tasting all the barrels. I know most of you are surprised that I can blend without tasting. This blending thing comes easy to me. There is no mystery. Sure, there will be small changes in the next several weeks until we actually start blending in the first week of January, but I have a very good idea of what barrels must go into each wine. I have tasted enough of the barrels and I have most of the PHs and alcohols to work with. For instance I want the Zinfandels and Petite Sirah to be over 14% alcohol. There are only so many barrels to blend in to create that alcohol. Of course the Pinot is easy since I just use all the 100% Pinot barrels. The same goes for the Block 4. I already have all the Block 4 in separate barrels so they will just be put into the tank in January to make one blend and put back into the barrels. The Cabernets were more complicated. I am making two Cabs so I had to decide which style I would make. I decided to blend all the low alcohol, fruity barrels into a blend with American oak and then put the heavier more tannic cabs into French oak. The Escuro was relatively easy. I did a lot of fermenting with different varietals. I fermented Cabernet with Petite Sirah. so all those barrels will go into the Escuro. I fermented Tannat with Cabernet so those barrels will go into the Escuro also. I could go on, but I hope you get the idea. Later today I hope to have a revised 2006 order form up on our website.
5pm: The new revised 2006 order form is up on the site. You will notice for the first time our petite sirah will be 100%. In the past we have always blended it with something else, but it will be so good this year I do not want to dilute it. Also you will notice that I have started offering a second Sonoma County cabernet. This wine will be more fruit driven and be aged in American oak.
Wednesday November 22, 2006
Steve and Matt are coming around. They are looking a little livelier recently. Pat and I have had no problem with the transition between the Harvest and normality, but Steve and Matt have been very happy to just do their job (sort of) and go home. I understand what is going on with them because if you don't have a real passion for this whole process of winemaking you want to escape. Catarino and Salvador have been wonderful. They seem to love what they are doing in the vineyard and around the winery when we need them. What is good is, now from December 1st until March is a quieter period. We do have an open house on December 2nd and 3rd and WinterWineland on January 13th and 14th and of course blending in the first week in January, but we have been through these events before and we know we can handle them. Harvest is another matter. It is always unpredictable. February is the quietist month and then the first two weekends in March is the Russian River Barrel Tasting and things really get going again.
Friday December 1, 2006
I have a reminder to all of you near and far. We have an open house this weekend Dec 2 and 3. This event is mostly for our Futures customers, but anyone is welcome. We will have burgers and potato salad. We will be tasting ALL the components for our 2006 wines to be blended in January. We hope to see you..
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