Tag Archives: Vintage 2013

Week 7- The “R” Word

This week we brought in quite a few of our Reserve blocks of Cabernet and numerous other blocks of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It looks as though the first big wave is over and at this point it seems that the “R” word is being seriously considered for this Friday night. That is right, rain is in the forecast. This year, however, unlike 2010 and 2011 we are not waiting for Brix to reach 24 praying that they will rise post rain. This year most every vineyard that we are sampling is already above 24, some are even higher This year I can enjoy the rain and the pause that it brings in the craziness without worrying that it is the beginning of the end of harvest. The wines that are in the tanks now look amazing. The colors are high, flavors ripe and concentrated and tannins soft and supple. I’m so excited about what we are seeing. It’s a great year to be starting at Robert Mondavi!

Week 6- Why Winemakers Wear Hiking Boots


We’ve been walking lots of vineyards this week and my boots are getting a workout for sure! This will be a short post this week but I just wanted to say that a huge portion of our Bordeaux reds will probably be picked in the next two weeks. Things are trending all together, the weather has been perfect and my prediction about a high Brix physiological ripeness seems to be holding true with the tannins tasting ripe around 26-27 Brix. It’s going to be an early year for sure!


Week 4 – Perfect Weather for Grapes and Pears

You can’t get much more beautiful weather than we have had in Napa over the past two weeks; particularly if you are growing wine grapes. The nights have been cool with lightly foggy mornings and warm sunny afternoons with highs in the upper 80s everyday. It is shaping up to be a wonderful harvest so far. The two tanks of Pinot Noir I have sitting in the winery looked nearly perfect analysis wise and tasted great when I tasted the juice this morning. They are in the cold soak period right now but already they are starting to exhibit color extraction.

This video is of our first pump over on the first Pinot tank of the vintage. Already you can see the juice turning darker after only a few hours in the tank yesterday.

At home, pear season is coming to a close and we are left with around 40 pounds of very ripe Bartlett pears after giving away close to 100 pounds, eating lots and baking with even more. I’m starting to feel a little bit like Bubba from the movie Forest Gump when I talk about pears. Fresh pears, dried pears, canned pears, puréed pears, pear sauce, pear tarts. You get the picture. Still I am always open to more tasty pear ideas so if you have any suggestions feel free to let me know. This is my favorite pear tart recipe. It’s super easy and delicious. I make a TON of them this time of year.

Next week I anticipate that things will really start rolling with harvest so this weekend I’m going to try to get all my loose ends around the house tied up.