Saturday, October 11, 2008

Wine Update

We've been so busy harvesting grapes the past few weeks, that I haven't given an update on how the wines are doing. Yesterday we wrapped up picking at the Woodruff Family vineyard pulling about 2 1/2 tons of Chardonnay for Storrs. The pick went late, past 4 PM and after we had to drop a bin off at Big Basin. It gave us a chance to try our wines there.

Here's the latest update:

Haut Tubee - The base for the Hot Tub wine was pressed and transferred to tank last week. It's darker than the past few years, with a really ripe Syrah nose. It will wait in tank until the other components are complete, then we will fill a barrel.

Chaine d' Or Vineyard Chardonnay. Wow. Making Chardonnay for the first time was a great learning experience. I've decided Chardonnay is like the law or sausage. If you enjoy it, you really should not watch it being made. It's pretty gross. It goes through stages of being brown, turbid, and very stinky. Stefania's quote "It smells and looks like poopy diapers."

Then like some miracle, it turns into Chardonnay. It clears up, the stink goes away, and there is a rich, savory and clear juice. This Chardonnay is going to be pretty powerful for the estate vineyard. It's already deep and rich. We're starting out with 60% new oak, and right now, the wine is just laughing it off. It's all rich fig and peach fruit. We'll monitor the oak closely, but this looks like it will be a very good, rich and deep Chardonnay.

Woodruff Family Vineyard Pinot Noir - Still at about 5 Brix, it's showing a cherry cola nose, with really deep color for the site. Big Basin's version was similar and has another week to go also.

Eaglepoint Ranch Syrah - Much lower alcohol than any previous version, this might actually finish under 14%, and for the first time, we're not having to correct the acidity. The fruit is bright again with a floral note. It's probably just 3-4 days from being pressed and going into barrel.

Crimson Clover Cabernet Sauvignon. 1-2 more days of fermenting to go, it might press on Sunday. Very strong nose of ripe Cabernet, and in the mouth, it's plush, long and the tannins are super ripe. This wine is very early of course, but we think we have a real winner.

The numbers on all these wines are pretty amazing. The alcohols look like the will be lower than 06 or 07, and that pH's are all in the 3.4 - 3.6 range. These are all 'pure' wines, and won't need additions or manipulations. The solid pH's will also mean using less sulfur. The Crimson Clover in particular has some great numbers. The BRIX was 27.5. That's going to make a huge, powerful wine. Probably close to 15% alcohol. But, that pH is 3.54, without any additions! Usually when you get to 27 Brix, pH's are in the 3.9-4.1 range. This wine will carry all that power with a balance of refreshing acidity.

Now we just have to not screw things up and we should have some very fine 2008's.

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