From the Ground Up
Still recovering from what might have been one of the best parties ever! Our annual Valentines Day get together brought 115 club members and friends to the Alisal Ranch. Except for the antics of Anjie and Andy, we had a marvelous time! The ladies were decked out and the men were cleaned up. The Alisal’s performance made the evening memorable.
This year’s high amount of rain has been great for the vineyard. It helps cleanse the soils and gives us reserve water for irrigation. We have been pruning between storms and are about 80% through the task. The quality of the wood that we leave on the vines has been very good, probably due to the great weather that we had at the end of 2018. It won’t be long until bud break and Dan and his guys are busy preparing for frost protection and weed control.
2017 Chardonnay: Our Chardonnay grapes are grown in Santa Maria where it is very cool and in Los Alamos where it is semi-cool. This coolness gives us higher acids, low pH, and well-developed flavors but it also means it takes some time before these wines are ready to drink. The 2017 has come of age. It is getting better and better with each passing week. It reminds me of Chablis. The Chablis area is much colder, and those Chardonnays have a hard time maturing and do not drink well until the age of 5 or 6 years. Chardonnay does best in cooler regions and this one is a good example. It goes well with lighter foods like roast chicken and fish with light butter sauces.
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon “Clone 6”: This one earned 92 points and an “Editor’s Choice” designation in the coming April 2019 edition of Wine Enthusiast magazine, a Gold Medal at the 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and the Double Gold Medal at the 2018 Central Coast Wine Competition. Where do we go from there? This ranks as one of the top wines ever for Lucas & Lewellen. This wine has just been re-released after some cellaring and it is going to our club members first. Our inventory is somewhat limited. This wine is slated to be our first $100 wine but not until the club members get their opportunity to take all they want this month at $44.80 (30% off of our lowest price). 100% “Clone 6” Cabernet Sauvignon - this wine is the essence of Cabernet. It took 50 years to get here. Savor it.
We are preparing for the Arizona Dude Ranch with 90 wine club members in early March. I will be in the company of Jed Steele for March madness in mid-March and visiting the wine market in Nashville. After that, we will tour the Columbia and Snake Rivers on our Lewis & Clark Wine Cruise.
After a rocky eight months, my health is back and I am doing well. I am thankful and appreciative for all your kind words.