2014 was perhaps our most ambitious harvest yet — when all is done we’ll have picked over 9 tons and will be on track to produce about 500 cases of wine. While it was generally a warm, dry growing year in the north coast, and quality looks good, I’ll remember 2014 for the ever-present fog and moisture that seemed to hang over western Sonoma every day until noon, from mid August through September. Managing rot was the order of the day, and in some cases was a trumping factor in choosing a pick date. Here’s some rot in a Pinot Noir Dijon 115 cluster. Some rot in a Chardonnay Clone 17 cluster. (Much easier to spot in Chardonnay!) One weapon in the mildew wars is to pull leaves, increasing air flow in the canopy. The risk is exposure to sudden heat spells (as in 2010), which thankfully did not materialize this year. Other tools are sprays (organic and non) and walking vinerows often, cutting out rot by hand, which I did a fair amount of this year. My outdoor sampling lab. Another casualty […]
We are very pleased to formally release our 2013 Russian River Chardonnay to our wine club this week in the Summer Whites two-bottle shipment. Not a member? You may join here! This 2013 is a personal favorite at our house, it seems to pair with, and make special, the most mundane of weekly dinners (including the dreaded ‘dino’ nuggets our kids clamor for) and it is sitting at a week-night-friendly 12.5% ABV. Neutral oak, battonage sur lie, and a careful native fermentation all give this wine a certain refinement; an elegant reflection of its origins on 15+ year old vines along Olivet Road. If you’ve banned dino nuggets from your house, we also recommend pairing with coq au vin or poached salmon 🙂 We did not make much of this wine, so please act fast this fall should you wish to re-order.
Come join us at The Rind in Sacramento this Sunday where there will be Wait Cellars flights and inspired cheese pairings! We’ll be pouring the following and will also have a few bottles for sale: * 2011 Russian River Pinot Noir* 2012 Green Valley Pinot Noir, Devoto Garden Vineyard* 2013 Russian River Chardonnay Hope to see you!
We’ve been selling our 2012 Devoto Garden Pinot Noir in New Jersey through North East Wines since March of this year. Last week I was on the East Coast with family and I spent a day with the ever gracious Richard Micketti of North East, who has been instrumental in introducing Wait Cellars to New Jersey. It was a real pleasure to meet Randy and Phil at Walkers in Lambertville, Bryan at Public and Billy at Agricole in Princeton, and Paul at Phillips in Stockton, among others. These guys are all doing fantastic work fleshing out compelling selections.
With the warm, dry winter of 2013-2014 leading into a warm, dry spring and summer, veraison is well underway in the North Coast. These shots from late July show Devoto Garden in Sonoma’s cool Green Valley over 50%, about 10-12 days ahead of 2013, which was also a warm, dry growing season. Am expecting to pick shortly after Labor Day. In 2011, we picked this fruit on October 4th! Nets went up last week against this guy and his smaller, air-born brethren, all very interested in the ripening fruit…