Toccata - A Little Bit of Dust from the Dirtman
We just completed the adventures of Lewis & Clark Wine Cruise. These two dudes made a miracle trip from Missouri to the northern Pacific ocean, mapping and collecting important data on birds and fish and Native Americans! It is remarkable to think they were able to make it through the terrain, rivers, mountains, and weather. We had a great time with club members and friends. The food was good, the wine was better, and we all had a lot of fun. We ventured out and visited a few wineries, mainly in Oregon. One of the wineries was a producer of Italian varietals. The Barbera was quite good but the rest of the wines were a bad experience. They were trying to grow Nebbiolo in a cool region. What they produced looked more like Rosé - it was tannic and tasted green and only sold for $75! I was reminded of how difficult that variety can be. It took me 19 years to learn.
This has been a cold, wet spring but we avoided frost on the new growth. Now we are hoping for some heat and no more rain. The grapes are trying to bloom and they are dragging behind, which could make for problems later.
2018 Pinot Grigio: It seems like I am always saying that this wine is the best yet. Starting with the last vintage, we have been changing vineyards from Los Alamos to Santa Maria. We only have a couple of acres in Santa Maria but are finding the cool weather influence adds a lot of dignity to a variety that sometimes can be lacking. This vintage has lots of flavors from stone fruit to a little bit of citrus and a surprise touch of floral character. This one is worth pursuing and is a great example of the variety.
2017 Pinot Noir: “Pinot Nero” in Italy - this is the classic Toccata Pinot Noir, bold in flavor with great color, softness, and finishing with a bang. This variety was made for the Santa Maria and Los Alamos region. In this one, the ripeness shows up. One of the great questions of growing grapes and making wine is the “what” and “when” of grape ripeness. Serve with Salmon Caesar Salad, and spinach ravioli with mild pink-red sauce. Boy, that sounds good!
2016 Sangiovese: This one is good. I spend a lot of time talking about how good this variety is. You can blend it with anything - just take a look at the Chiantis and the Super-Tuscans. 100% varietal Sangiovese is my choice for an Italian cocktail red wine. It is lush and soft in taste and tannins with a faintly sweet fruit after taste. Recently our 2015 Toccata Riserva Super-Tuscan, made from a blend of more than 30% Sangiovese, earned 91 points in Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
I hope you are able to join us for the Harvest Blessing and Party. We all need the blessing - and we know how to party! Make sure and take time out during the summer to continue spoiling your family. They’re looking forward to it.