Toccata - A Little Bit of Dust from the Dirtman
Harvest is over! Today at lunch with Dan Iness, my right hand in the vineyard, we spent some time discussing harvest 2013. This year’s harvest almost equalled last year’s in volume, but also in quality. In my 40 some years growing grapes in Santa Barbara County, I haven’t seen two back-to-back years that reached this level in volume and quality. I credit the weather and also the condition of our vineyards. When Mother Nature leaves you alone during harvest, and you’re able to pick almost everything at optimum, it’s something special.
Except for five acres of Nebbiolo that suffered major frost damage in the spring, all of our Italian varieties performed at their best. Varieties like Barbera, Nebbiolo, Freisa, and Sangiovese that we pick later in the harvest season are usually bothered by some weather, but not this year. The 2012 and 2013 vintages will produce some of the best wines ever. Our challenge now is to lead them toward that finish. We should be very excited about the future, and that yesterday’s worries are over...but there’s still tomorrow!
2012 Moscato di Santa Barbara: Great grapes grown with good intentions. You will notice that this vintage is 4% higher in alcohol. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. We attempted to stop it at 7% like the 2011 vintage but it paused for a few days and later continued fermenting until we stopped it at 11%. This in no way tarnishes the wine or what we were trying to accomplish. It makes for a little more alcohol and a little less residual sugar. This Moscato di Santa Barbara is vibrant with marvelous floral flavors and a little bit of frizzante, those bubbles we get from maintaining high C02 levels. It’s a fun wine. Drink chilled.
2010 Riserva: Our high end super Tuscan blend has a little more Cabernet than Sangiovese with a few other varietals added in. This one is big and bold and, to me, shows greater influence of the Cabernet Sauvignon and lots of tannin structure. If you’re not in a hurry, this one is good enough to put several bottles away to enjoy at maximum maturity. It’s still fine to drink at this early date.
I need your help at the pruning party in January! I can’t believe we have all of these vines to prune again. Don’t forget with the holidays we are your best source of wine and our website works! We also need a few prayers for rain, not only for the vines but for all of California. In this season of giving, the best gift is giving one.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of the L&L family.