Sat down again last week with Chris and Tom Leaf to taste the 2009 Amber and Devoto in barrel. Was going in thinking about taking the Amber off of wood early (50% is on new Radoux (French Oak)) as it’s shaping up with such great flavor. Am also considering a big blend decision with the Devoto fruit: blend in Amber fruit, losing Devoto’s Green Valley appellation (in lieu of the larger Russian River designation), but ideally creating a wholly richer and more complex wine.
Ended up deciding to decide nothing. Everything is evolving nicely, two very distinctive and interesting wines, am going to just step back and get out of their way for now. We noticed a little reduction on the Devoto wine (sulfuric compounds, likely a byproduct of fermentation) that some might “clean up” with a drop of copper; but again decided to leave the thing alone, the aromas seemed to blow off quickly and I expect these compounds to combine and resolve themselves in the coming months. Tom Leaf particularly liked the “Oregonian” aromas and taste of the Devoto, a dead-ringer, he claims, for an Oregonian wine whose name I’ve forgotten. We’re all excited to see how it shapes up over the summer.
And the Amber Ridge? Gangbusters: every kind of berry flavor you can imagine bursting out of that wine with spice to boot, it’s certainly over the years become much more interesting fruit. Going to leave it in the Radoux for now, which to my taste is giving it some elegance (beyond what Francois Freres, the oak I used in previous vintages, does).