Toccata - A Little Bit of Dust from the Dirtman
Survived the cruise. Can you imagine being stuck on a cruise ship with Andy and Anjie for two weeks? AND Jill? I thought two weeks would be too long, and it was really just right. We were surrounded by 40 of the nicest people you could put together. We experienced some unusual happenings, like a 75mph wind at 3:30 in the morning. I got dressed and put my shoes on, and when Jill asked “Where are you going?”, I replied, “I don’t know...but I’m ready!” Going through the Panama Canal was worthwhile. My goodness, the ingenuity of 1914. And still operating well. A few years ago, I was concerned about giving away the Panama Canal. In reality, they’re doing a great job and proud of it. We met a very fine master sommelier and were able to share our wines with him and participated in a couple of his tastings. He couldn’t believe we made SO many good wines! He had never had Ramato, and he really liked it! My other favorite tastings were coffee in Guatemala and vodka in the lounge! I never knew how many differences there were in vodkas.
As always, I blame Mother Nature! A very short winter followed by a warm spring puts us about three weeks ahead of schedule. Most of the varieties look very good. Unusual heat hurt the fruit set in some of our Sangiovese and Syrah, but overall I am very pleased at this point. Harvest in 80 days.
2012 Malvasia Bianca: Always one of the most popular wines in our tasting room. The most flavorful grape of all the grapes we grow. This one was picked a little sooner and lower in alcohol at around 11%. I like it that way. There is a tendency to always try to be really really ripe and, in some varieties, you can go too far. For future reference, in 2013 we made a small amount of dry Malvasia Bianca and it is really special. We will release it as soon as it is bottled. Don’t be afraid to enjoy this variety with spicy foods. It will surprise you.
2011 Nebbiolo: California’s forgotten grape. Tried by many, grown by a few. I still refuse to give up! 2011 we had some inclement weather at near the end of harvest and that is when we pick Nebbiolo. This one was picked a little soon to avoid spoilage and resulted in a lighter wine but is ready to enjoy. It is bright, has that terracotta hue that all Nebbiolo should have, and it’s lighter in alcohol at 13.5%. It should fit most Italian food. In 2012 and 2013, we had perfect weather during our Nebbiolo harvest which has resulted in bigger, bolder wines. I’m planning to hold them a little longer in the barrel. But this one is fun and should be enjoyed now!
Jill and I were fortunate to pour our wines at the Grand Del Mar Wine & Roses Festival. Over 1,000 people for a good cause. Our Lucas & Lewellen Cote del Sol Cabernet received a 94 and a Platinum Medal and was featured. Some of this same Cabernet you will find in both Classico and Riserva. We continue to strive to make better wines.
The forecast for the Summer BBQ looks promising! It looks like global warming is holding off for another week. I hope you will be in attendance!