Over the years, you have heard me mention the weather almost constantly. Well, here is some more. After a winter filled with rain and a cooler spring than normal (June gloom), it has warmed up, and hopefully, we are headed for something close to normal.
The vines have grown a little larger than usual, thanks to the winter rains, but maturation is slow. We have learned to expect the unexpected. Some vines are approaching normal development, while others are still behind. Some people say this harvest may be delayed a couple of weeks. The reality is that we don’t know what kind of weather we will have in the next six weeks, and that will be the determining factor.
2022 Viognier: We have been playing around with Viognier for nearly 25 years. It came to the U.S. via Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon. It is called a Rhône variety, but it spent 300 years on the island of Vis in Croatia before going to the Rhône. It wasn’t that successful in the beginning because it was treated primarily like Chardonnay. Today it has a mind of its own and expresses its own delicate flavors of flowers and apricots, but not in excess. To me, it is almost a flavorful extension of Sauvignon Blanc. This Viognier just scored off the chart with 98 points at the Central Coast Wine Competition and “Best of Show”, “Best White Wine”, and “Best Viognier”. How in the hell does that happen? Beat the line and stock up now!
2020 Merlot: Merlot might be the most overlooked wine in California. Over the years, it has been grown in all the wrong places. The variety does extremely well in a semi-cool region in heavy soils. Wine experts would really like what I just said! Ours is full-flavored, soft, deep in color, and rich with spicy black cherry and earth. This is a first cousin to the Judge’s Reserve - REAL Merlot.
2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Valley View: This is a limited vintage of our original Valley View Cabernet, which includes all five Bordeaux varieties. It is limited because of the loss of grapes in our original 9-acre Cabernet block that year, so it is influenced by some of our other sections of Cabernet, which include Clone 337 and Clone 6. The wine is exceptional. Wish we had more! We expect this vintage to age well, so once the wine club has taken their share, we will reserve the remaining cases in our Owners Select Wine Club library for later release. We should have 20 or so cases available for you to buy once you have tasted it.
Join us next month as Father John comes out to bless the harvest at our annual Harvest Party. There are a few spaces still available. In September, we’ll take two shuttles through our three vineyards and drink great wines and taste the ripe grapes just prior to harvest. We hope you can join us.