Toccata - A Little Bit of Dust from the Dirtman
We are still confined but we have freedom in the vineyard and work goes on. Recent warm weather has pushed the grapes forward. We are just finishing the bloom period when the grapes flower and the new berry emerges. We have been removing shoots that are not growing from the fruit wood we selected during pruning time. By doing this, we get rid of what we don’t want and all the plant’s energy is able to go into the remaining shoots and fruit. At this point in time, grapes are really susceptible to mildew. When that new berry emerges from the flower, mildew control becomes critical. In the next few days we will start hedging to control the size of the vine and restrict any additional growth. We have started irrigation on a drip system, a bit later than usual due to all thoseApril rains.
Megan just bottled several of the 2018 and 2019 Toccata wines. These are good vintages and the resulting wines are very good.
2018 Pinot Grigio: Made from our limited acreage of Pinot Grigio grapes in the cool Santa Maria Valley, this wine is a little more intense because it is grown in one of the cooler areas of California, and that is where this variety needs to be grown. Pinot Grigio can be flat and non-descript and in need of manipulation at the winery when it is grown where it is too warm. To me, this wine is a little tart, reminding me of a classic Sauvignon Blanc. It is very dry and a versatile companion for food - try with hors d’oeuvres or any kind of shellfish.
2017 Barbera: This wine is dark and jammy and made from grapes grown on 40+ year old vines. Our Barbera comes from a clone that produces grapes with high acidity, so we must let them hang for a long time and wait for what I call the “acid break” when the acidity is low enough to make a well-balanced wine. The Barbera grape is grown in areas with extreme heat because it can maintain acidity where other grapes cannot. Warm spots in Arizona grow this variety with some success. Barbera comes from the Piemonte region in northern Italy where it is grown with Dolcetto and Nebbiolo. It blends very well with Nebbiolo, which we grow at our Los Alamos Vineyard, and it goes with very Italian cuisine.
2016 Classico: This one is my favorite of the three. It is has a nice hint of oak and is influenced by the full flavors of the Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties. An excellent example of a Super Tuscan that expresses the Italian varieties, this wine was complemented by the addition of a little bit of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and the rare and scarce Freisa. It is an impressive wine, great for a special occasion or a special meal.
I now know how the Lone Ranger felt having to wear a mask all the time! We look forward to seeing your entire face at our Tasting Room or the next function we are allowed to host. We appreciate all of you - your patronage has been so appreciated.