Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2008 Cabernet

A lesson learned...must not drink any wine before it's time.  All of the '08 syrah went in five gallon buckets to places and consumers best not mentioned.  I only kept the cabernet because Bob Betz said that it was worth bottling just to see how it might eventually turn out.  I used it for topping the vinaigrier, for reduction sauces, and for occasionally drinking by myself (Sue was not a fan).  Only a half-dozen bottles survived through to now, a year later.  Opened one of these two nights ago and, shock, it was quite good.  The harsh edges had integrated, the mouth feel more weighty and pleasing, the flavor showing some follow-through.  This wine was never and will never be anything like the '09 cab "Liliana", yet I won't be so fast to berate myself next time something seems less than OK at the start.  Thank you, Bob, that not all the cab ended up in those five-gallon buckets!

I went through several carboys this past weekend, tasting the Walla Walla Bing Bang, two of the cabs, and one syrah.  One of the cabs is beautiful, the Bing Bang is just as fun as it sounds, and the syrah was coming around...not the disappointment that I felt the last time I tasted it.  Again, patience is a lesson learned.  Bing bang and a small run of cab goes into bottles in a few weeks.  Will wait until next spring to blend and bottle the others.  No idea how this year's crop will be looking at harvest...such a short growing season with so much cold and rain...this may be the year to drop the cab and syrah and make my first co-fermented merlot/cab franc dependent on how these are timing out... Maybe just two carboys of a right-bank Bordeaux this year?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Winter Plans

Hoping to spend more time at Grape Hill, maybe even to get the arbor up?  The real estate activity looks to be mighty lean and light in the months ahead.  Could be a great time to do some writing and spend more time on the farm.  Talk was of everyone going to Connecticut for Thanksgiving, but that seems impossible...so expensive and such a long journey for the five of us.  Hate missing out, just not enough time or salad.  After fermentation, during malolactic is a pretty good time to enjoy the farm.  Cannot reserve the dates yet, too much to consider, so it all might be moot if the rental guests don't slow down...