Each year when I write this particular newsletter, we are either still buried under a pile of grapes or as in this case, mostly finished with the heavy work load. It is a great time to reflect upon what the vintage has given us and how we responded to it.
I feel very lucky to have ancestors who purchased agricultural land well over a century ago, to have a family whose successive generations commit to living and working with the land. It’s not an easy path. But it is the one I have chosen and have tried to honor the efforts of those that have toiled before.
The most recent trend of the popular style inching toward higher alcohol/higher ripeness beginning in the 1990’s led to a natural and expected reaction of favoring lower alcohol/lower ripeness wines in certain quarters. However, rather than the pendulum gently swinging back thru the happy & balanced middle where we have been, it looks like a quantum leap from one extreme to the other.
Filmed with Josh Raynolds of Vinous Media at the International Pinot Noir Celebration in 2014.
It is a question I ask myself a lot lately. Our stylistic choices are not ‘stylish.’ Our marketing is not ‘slick.’ But we know what we are trying to do and for whom we are doing it. So thank you. You clearly get it!
Just as I love each of my two children for who they are as individuals, the same applies to a degree for each of my wines. There is normally no one ‘favorite’ because they are all unique and special. The challenge of parenting and winemaking is to guide and help each of your children and wines to let their best qualities shine as brightly as possible. Then it is time to stand back and appreciate the results.
I look at wine balance in a general way, as having an equal presence of ‘angles vs. rounds.’ Structure from tannins and acids [angles] lessen as the fruit ripens and the counter-balancing glycerol [round] is produced [in lock-step with alcohol/initial sugar level] which ameliorates and balances these two opposing forces creating a ‘sweet spot’.
Carbonic Maceration happens in many more wines than just Beaujolais Nouveau. Winemaker Fred Scherrer gives an in depth explanation of what is happening inside the grapes.
What is Cabernet Sauvignon? California Winemaker Fred Scherrer talks about the nature of Cabernet, it’s ability to age and some of the nuances that can develop with time.
Malolactic Fermentation is the conversion of Malic acid to Lactic acid in wines, but that is not all that is happening. Fred Scherrer of the Scherrer Winery gave us a detailed description of this process.