From the Ground Up
Somebody said times have changed but the vineyards have not noticed. They are hard at work producing good fruit, like they always have been.
We had a March/April miracle with 7-8 inches of rain after seeing zero inches in January and February and 7 inches late last year. Our grand total for the season is 15 inches or better to date, which is a good year. Rainwater helps dissipate the salts in the soils and when you get enough, some of that moisture is stored for the rest of the year.
We have had bud break and with all that good water, the vines are really thriving. We were on frost watch for three or four nights. We ran the sprinklers for two nights in Los Alamos on 60-70 acres and we did not experience any frost issues. At the present time, we’re doing shoot and sucker removal and spraying our mildew and nutritional sprays. I’ve taken an early glimpse of the crop and I would say it will be about average in size. There are a few varieties that look like they might be light in yield, mainly Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc. I expect flowering to take place in about two weeks and that will give us the rest of the story.
2018 Viognier: This is a variety that has become very useful. Not only do we make this great Viognier, but we add 4% to the Syrah, which is also featured in this release. We use a little Viognier to add some dimension to our Rosé of Pinot Noir. It is a variety with nice flavors that are not overwhelming. With regards to the flavor profile, I would place it somewhere between Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. Ours is a cool weather Viognier from Los Alamos Vineyard, so it has a little more acid, a little bolder flavor, and a little crispness on the palate. It has a lot of mouthfeel. It is not heavy but there is some weight there. It was harvested at 13.5% alcohol, which keeps the heat down. I think it would be very good with spicy foods, chicken and turkey dishes, and a Cobb salad.
2017 Syrah: This one is not your typical Syrah. The grapes were picked at the optimum time so they were not overripe and, at 14%, not high in alcohol. The addition of 3% Viognier gives it some spice. This is an elegant Syrah, not overextracted in color and not thick or jammy, and I think it is outstanding. With Syrah, sometimes you need to really search to find one that stands out - this one has it all. I like it with lamb chops and prime rib.
These are difficult times and we are dealing with the unexpected. We miss everyone visiting us at our Tasting Rooms and functions. We are very concerned about the market for wine and grapes but even more than that, we are concerned about everyone being in good health and being able to move forward with their lives and families. Through all of this, we are thankful that you choose our wine for your table. Stay safe and don’t forget to smile!