Was in winery last week to pull samples and taste through all the 2011 pinot barrels, the goals roughly being: – Assess quality – Assess 2011 barrel decisions – Consider Russian River blend – Keep wine off shirt Each barrel was resting nicely, no off characters; at this stage these 11’s are reminiscent of the 09’s with slightly more mid-palate weight, likely due to the maturing vines at Devoto Gardens. The new oak (2/9, or 22%; one French, one Hungarian — both used as press barrels, with free run in neutral) was there, but mostly hiding, which is fine; still evaluating the Hungarian. My once-filled Taransaud barrel also lent some tannic presence. The Pommard fruit from Flanagan Vineyards along Starr Road has particularly come around and will be the backbone to the Russian River blend. An austere Devoto barrel sitting at 12.7% alcohol in a neutral Radoux barrel is my leading candidate to blend with the Flanagan fruit; the two together were very satisfying, comfortable.
It was a gorgeous weekend to pour at the Fort Mason Vintner’s Market, and it was great meeting everyone who stopped by the table! Our 09 Russian River Pinot was a crowd pleaser; and the pre-release 2010 Green Valley Pinot also won new fans. The prestigious Wait Cellars delivery vehicle unloading out front. The Wait Cellars table, pre-crowds. The “Corning-ware” decanters certainly attracted a lot of attention!
We are very pleased to offer 50% off tickets to the up and coming San Francisco Vintner’s Market, April 14th and 15th at Fort Mason! Just use the promotional code “FIFTY” when buying tickets on Vintner’s Market website. Why not spend an afternoon tasting wine on the bay — there will be a ton of local wineries, and if you find something you like, you may buy it on the spot and take it home for dinner!
Attended an all-day winery sanitation seminar at UC Davis last week. While the latest thinking in cleaners and sanitizers does not make for the most exciting posts (though, don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer that 80% of wine-making is keeping things clean!), thought I’d share some pictures of the sparkling new Robert Mondavi research winery up at Davis. Pretty spectacular; the winery was just off the classroom and we had some time in the afternoon to kick the tires, talk about design (mostly from a sanitation point of view) and get a demo of the latest bio-luminescence swabbing techniques for validating cleanliness protocols. Awesome!