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 Rosé 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.
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