Where there’s heat, there’s fire! It seems we’ve been surrounded over the past few days. Fortunately, we have that Pacific Ocean air conditioner that blows most of the problem away. Our recent heat spells have pushed the grapes forward in development, not drastically but I’m beginning to see what we call veraison, when the grapes soften and begin to turn to their respective color. This morning, I saw the first two berries of Malbec with a hint of red. Yesterday, Dan Iness, our vineyard manager, said that he saw the first few Pinot Noir berries at the Goodchild Ranch. It is not quite time for the bird alert, but it won’t be long. This year’s first berry finds are slightly larger than usual. Those good winter rains cleansed the soil and put a small reservoir of water below the water table, improving growing conditions. A larger canopy requires more work because there is more to work on but, at the same time, a good canopy protects the grapes, helps them to mature faster, and leaves better wood and canes for next year. We are already spending time getting the winery ready for harvest and will be doing more bottling in the next few days. We need to make room for the new crop!
2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir: Just earned a Gold Medal and 92 points at the San Francisco International Wine Competition in Napa’s backyard! A few years ago, we turned to making our Rosé out of some of our best Pinot. Pinot Noir is the #1 variety at Lucas & Lewellen in terms of sales and also in quantity with 120 acres out of 400 acres. This one is very light in color from minimal skin contact which seems to be the in thing to do these days. We try not to pick the grapes too ripe to help with acidity. This one is very low in residual sugar at .4 R.S, like most of today’s hotshot Chardonnay. To give it a little bit of fruit, it has an addition of 10% Viognier which takes away that red wine taste and enhances the fresh flavors. Serve chilled with summer foods or anything that comes on a dinner plate. If you have an old refrigerator, it would make great popsicles!
2012 Petite Sirah: 100% varietal from our 40 year old vines in Los Alamos that we’ve kept because this is just the ultimate Petite Sirah. Big, bold, and smooth like velvet in texture, with color that goes beyond color - this is a classic wine that sells itself in the Tasting Room. Serve with anything barbecued. This wine has the softness to challenge and balance spicy foods. Supply is limited.
Get prepared for the Vineyard Tour. Bikinis optional! Not really. These vineyards are progressing to be a great vintage year. Take advantage of the special introduction of our 2013 “Clone 6” Cabernet. We are reaching new heights.