From the Ground Up
Harvest 2013 is over! For the first time in 42 years, we had large crops back to back and outstanding weather that enabled us to pick our grapes at optimum levels of maturity. 2012 and 2013 will be superior vintage years. With the weather being so good, we have been able to produce a Late Harvest Viognier and Gewurztraminer this year, along with a Late Harvest Merlot and Syrah for our Port. Clone 6 Cabernet, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Pinot Noir look to be exceptional. Dan, Alberto, and our vineyard workers did a great job of getting the grapes picked in timely fashion. Megan and our new cellar master Ian have processed this large crop in a very controlled manner to maximize our wine quality, even though I tried to bury them in grapes! Really, all things worked well.
I was fortunate to attend the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Festival with our Western Sales Manager Jim Windham. The festival was well attended. We had a great winemaker dinner and several pourings where our wines shone.
2011 Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine: Royce and I continue to enjoy the bubbles! This 2011 vintage represents a change from our previous 2008 Sparkling Brut which was made from 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, a major winner both in competition and with our customers. Our Blanc de Noir is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay with a touch of pink from slight skin contact. It has been received with much excitement and, as a result, we are continuing it by producing it again with 2013 grapes, off-dry, with a hint of strawberry. This bubbly leaves you refreshed, and is a great excuse for celebration. It needs to be included in your holiday!
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Cote del Sol: Little did I know that over thirteen years ago, a vineyard experiment with Cabernet and Syrah would lead to the Cote del Sol, Lucas & Lewellen’s flagship Cabernet. It is still done the same as back in 2000, with the same rows in the vineyard, picked from only the afternoon sun side of a split canopy vine, with the same addition of 8% Syrah from the same Syrah vines, with both varieties picked on the same day and co-fermented. It’s big, bold, and has great color. We continue to be amazed at what 8% Syrah can do to 92% Cabernet. It takes the edge off the somewhat jammy flavor of the Cabernet, and adds richness from the Syrah that makes our Cote del Sol one of a kind. The 2010 is young and could be put to rest for a while, either in your glass or in your wine rack!
We are preparing for this week’s Harvest Party in a winery very crowded with new wine. I don’t want to talk about the Prune a Row in January yet! I do want to mention Thanksgiving. This time of year reminds us to be thankful, yet we should always be thankful...for family and friends first, and such a great country. And what a harvest! God bless you all.