As the last trucks of fruit were delivered last week I began to look back on this season to decide how it went. I think we came up with the perfect analogy while chatting with Beringer winemaker, Laurie Hook, late last week. This season has been like trying to teach someone how to drive a stick shift car; full of starts, leaps forward, stalls, waiting, restarts, and then much creeping.
The rain which came in droves about 3 weeks ago stalled us for several days. Prior to that the quality was fantastic! Deep colors and expressive fruit aromas were complemented by fine grained, ripe tannins. The whites were delicate and reserved but beautifully balanced and are handling the winemaking treatments such as ML fermentation wonderfully. Post rain, we saw a brief drop in color and intensity of flavors however that cleared up about a week after the last storm. Sugars, however, never bounced back.
We are still working on getting our reds off skins and working many, many wines through ML as is typical of this time of year. Next on the winemaking agenda is putting blends together from past vintages for both December and January bottlings as well as evaluating the 2010 wines for appropriate programs. Getting the right wines onto the right oak mix and the similar quality wines pre-blended together for better efficiency in the cellar. November and December following a harvest are always filled with tastings and evaluations of wines. Today, we went through around 30 wines today from a prior vintage working on a new blend. Thursday, we’ll go through 100 new red wines from this vintage to determine their appropriateness for different brands.
Now that life is resuming somewhat of a normal rhythm, I will try to get back to my one post a week goal. Thank you for staying with me through harvest and I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts to get an inside view of how things go.
Happy close of Harvest 2010 everyone!