From the Ground Up
It’s great to be back. Right now I am in recovery mode from heart surgery in May. All I can say is that there is a lot more to it. I am very thankful to all our friends, club members, and clergy at the Mission for all the time, thoughts, and prayers.
Today we are experiencing the first truly hot day of the year. At Valley View, it peaked at 106°F for a few minutes To me, the vines are a little behind schedule although, with warmer weather, we might catch up. Right now, we are expecting harvest to be late August to the first of September. Overall, the crop looks good. I am hoping to show you the grapes up close at the Vineyard Tour in August.
Our wines continue to score high. The 2015 “Clone 6” Cabernet just recently won a Double Gold for Cabernet at the Central Coast Wine Competition held in Paso Robles - that’s easier said than done! 2015 “High 9” Pinot Noir and “Cote del Sol” were both awarded Gold Medals at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition, and 2015 Valley View Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir scored 90+ at Wine Enthusiast. We released a “Hidden Asset”, our new blend made to taste delicious at a comfortable price.
2017 Gewürztraminer: Over the last couple of years, this has been my favorite wine. Megan and I decided a couple of years ago that after crushing, we should give it some skin contact to up the flavor profile and give it an extremely aromatic nose. Whenever we get people to try this one in the tasting room, they buy it, so often that we had to do a second bottling of the 2016. This one has residual sugar of .8 which makes it not sweet. The sugar source is unique in that it was from a Late Harvest Gewurztraminer that we were making. Make sure to spend some time on the aromatics.
2014 Cabernet Franc: This is one of the few vintages that our Cabernet Franc does not come from the Valley View Vineyard, but from 1 1/2 acres at our Los Alamos Vineyard that was planted 15 years ago next to a reservoir. This site grows exceptional Cabernet Franc. Over the past few years, we have used some of it to blend with our Los Alamos Merlot. In 2014, the wine and grapes were exceptional. Cabernet Franc has a distinct flavor, almost like sun-dried grapes, but not raisins. A little complexity was added by blending in 7% Petit Verdot from Valley View. This is a great example of Cabernet Franc.
2014 Malbec: The number one fan of Malbec is Sandy, a long time Wine Club member who now works in the Tasting Room. She has become the queen of Malbec, starting with our 2012 vintage. She thought 2013 was very good and now 2014 may go beyond the 2012.
The Malbec grape has been completely overlooked in California because of the excess Malbec coming out of Argentina. I consider it an outstanding grape and one that really does well here. This 2014 vintage just won the Double Gold at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. This one belongs in your wine cellar.
At the present time, I am taking recovery from my recent surgery one day at a time. The vineyard and the wines do a great job of keeping my mind occupied. Sometimes there are things that get overlooked, for example the effort that my wife Jill and family and friends have made to care for me. We are so blessed.