This year I write this from the Hawaiian Islands. We were invited to present some of our wines as well as participate in a panel discussion with some legendary Chardonnay producers at the Kapalua Food and Wine Festival on Maui. I had to think about it for three seconds before deciding the family was about due for a little travel despite the huge amount of work I have waiting for me at home. During one of the many tastings and discussions that occurred over the last few days, I was struck by a comment made by Master Sommelier, local celebrity and great advocate of ours for many years, Chuck Furuya. He commented that ‘…we forget that wine should, above all things, be delicious.’ That any sense of place, house style, varietal expression, etc. should be subordinate to whether or not the wine is delicious is not the usual thing one finds on marketing propaganda. When asked about when to consume a given bottle, I have often said that ‘as long as the wine gives pleasure, it succeeds, so drink it when it tastes good to you.’ But the notion of deliciousness seems so implicit in the evaluation of wine to me that I also forget to discuss it in my own type of propaganda. Thanks for the reminder, Chuck.
Wines can be delicious in just about any vintage as long as one does not try to make the wine become something it does not have the potential to be. Wines harvested during the earlier part of the 2007 vintage (particularly our Zinfandels in this futures offering) should easily offer wines of high deliciousness (years ago, I called it ‘groovosity factor’). The grape material had such a generous amount of flavor and supple structure that it was hard to go wrong. The individual Zinfandel lots are impressive on their own and would tempt me to bottle some on their own as separate block designates if I did not understand the way their strengths tend to reinforce each other in the Old & Mature Vines vineyard designate from the Scherrer Vineyard. While as of early July, I have not yet made the final blend at the cellar level, the blending trials I have done leave me very enthusiastic about both the short term and longer term prospects of the 2007 Zinfandels.
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