'It's not done till it's done right'
As parents of teenagers, this term seems to echo throughout the house and our minds a lot these days. And I’m quite sure if one listens closely, there are still faint echoes from a generation ago that I suspect the grandparents hear quite clearly. Interestingly, these words are also constantly bouncing off of the Spartan winery walls in their own way all the time. The key is to listen.
When I combine different barrels of each different fermentation lot for their ‘assemblage’ I confront my last chance to change and improve the blend’s future. [Some of us need a deadline] A couple of days ago while combining the different Rosť lots just prior to bottling, I had this opportunity. Because each barrel (even within the same fermentation lot) has its own slightly different twist, I like to combine the most synergistic ones first removing as many variables as possible before finalizing the blend. I was so
pleased at how the ‘core group’ played together and so
unhappy with how a few delicious ‘fatter’ barrels affected the delicate balance that, to do it right, I decided to go for the slimmer, more energetic blend. If I had not been in the cellar actually doing the physical work this opportunity would have been missed.
The blending process of our Old & Mature Vines Zinfandel is much the same. I can make adjustments at every step to help keep it on its course. Any barrels not needed for ideal balance of the OMV can later become a component of Zinfandoodle. Working between vintages gives me a wider range of strengths to work with to make it ‘just right’ too.
Our Zinfandel Futures are always bottled at the very last minute just before the spring shipping window closes and right before the open house. Rather than a sign of procrastination, it is the reality that the wine needs every moment of barrel time before it’s ‘done’ and ready to bottle. This is one of the strengths of being a small 4,000 case operation that owns its own bottling equipment and is flexible and sensitive to the material at hand.
Recent Releases & Opportunities
- 2011 Old & Mature Vines Zinfandel
- 2011 Shale Terrace Zinfandel
- 2012 Dry Rose
- Zinfandoodle v.0.1
- 2009 Scherrer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2010 Sonoma County Pinot Noir