Last night we drove over Hwy 17 in the rain to Felton to do the first real tasting of our 2006's. The wines have not finished Maloactic Fermentation yet, and need to be racked, so they are not really ready for tasting yet, but we wanted to get an idea where we are at so we could put a racking plan together.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Uvas Creek Vineyard, Santa Clara Valley - 5 barrels total + 20 gallons of topping wine, should make about 130 cases. Alcohol 14.6, aging in 40% new wood. (the wood wasn't really showing yet on any of these wines). Much darker color than last year, deep red with a similar nose as the 2005 at the same point, minty with lots of berry fruit, much fruitier than the 05. Already showing a savory finish, with good balance and length. We we're very happy with this.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains - 5 barrels total +10 gallons of topping wine, should make 125 cases. Alcohol 13.9, aging in 20% new oak. Darker than the Uvas Creek, almost purple, tons of black cherry and dark berry flavors and aromas, long and smooth and very plush. We all got the sense that this wine was really something special. This was a mix of Martin Ranch Cabernet with a little Merlot from Elandrich Vineyard. No one wanted to spit this wine.
2006 Syrah, Eaglepoint Ranch, Mendocino County - 5 barrels + 40 gallons on topping wine, should make 140 cases. Alcohol 14.8 Aging in @ 25% new oak (one new and one once used + 3 neutral) Red garnet color, with berries and mango. Very ripe tannins and sound acidity. This wine has been the slowest on Malo and we think that was what was giving it a tropical/berry nose right now. It was much more intense that the 05 at the same point.
John kept commenting on what a good job we did bringing in ripe, problem free, fruit. He said it was a real treat to work with all these fruit sources and watch the wines go with so little need for intervention. We'll be back every weekend for the next few weeks to check on barrels and get everything racked. I left very happy, I think all these wines are better at this point than the 2005's were at the same point last year.