Due to an early budbreak and spring frosts, the crop was reduced by over 50% in this vineyard, down to one single barrel. However, my experience with this vineyard has shown that it does best with about 50% new oak. So, I had to figure out how to achieve the right new oak balance without resorting to 100% new oak or a new and an older 30 gallon barrel, which would not integrate into the wine nearly as well as the ubiquitous 60 gallon capacity. During the summer, in anticipation of the small yield and during an inspired moment, I persuaded the cooper at Seguin-Moreau turn one of my older barrels and one new barrel into two 50% new barrels by exchanging half of the staves and one head each. The results were good but we would be content if this did not happen every vintage.
The wine has the signature ‘star-fruit’ character and hint of Burgundy-like struck-match that are part of this vineyard’s typical personality when young, integrating slowly over several years to give something unique and exciting (the 1998 and 1999 are just hitting their stride). The initially more generous 2000 is still continuing to develop well. I think this well-structured 2001 will need even more time, but will be worth the wait.