Toccata - A Little Bit of Dust from the Dirtman
This is the time of year we have to do what I call the “little work” on the grapevines; removing shoots from unwanted growth and getting ready for the flowering season. Weather is always on our mind. This is still considered part of the frost season but hopefully there will be abundant sunshine to make nature’s magic work.
Last year’s 2013 vintage looks to be one of the better vintages. The wines are showing much promise. It always helps to have perfect growing and weather conditions during harvest. Varieties like Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Sangiovese, which cannot tolerate wet weather, were picked at optimal levels thanks to the beautiful fall. Next year we will get our first chance to visit this vintage.
2012 Pinot Grigio: This one is the normal side of Pinot Grigio. Last month you had the Ramato, our first experience with Pinot Grigio with skin contact. This wine is the style that has made Pinot Grigio now the number two selling white wine in the United States, right behind Chardonnay. To me, it is the first major introduction of Italian wine. I like the 2012 better than the 2011 and think it shows a little more fruit and flavor. It is lower in alcohol and sometimes, as grapes begin to ripen, we can go too far with hang time. Pinot Grigio needs to be harvested at lower sugar levels to be more vibrant. This one will look good at your picnic and it is my choice of a cocktail wine.
2011 Sangiovese: This might be the Italian red grape that makes a major mark in California. It’s being planted in many areas. I would like to say that this vintage is a good example of what this variety needs to be. It is very lush with flavors of berries and plum. Our goal in the vineyard has been to grow grapes that mature sooner to avoid being too high in alcohol. This wine hits the mark really well being at 13.5, giving you a mature wine without the heat. The intensity in the nose is overwhelming. You might just want to sniff it! Believe it or not, it reminds me of a Pinot Noir - it has elegance and goes well with anything Italian, or just anything. This wine belongs on the pleasure list.
Please check out the Bordeaux cruise of 2015. If we sneak some of that 2011 Sangiovese into Bordeaux, we can make a great Super Tuscan! If not, we’ll make our own at the Summer BBQ. This is our 10th Summer BBQ at Valley View Vineyard and we plan to make it something special.
Savor the summer with family and friends.