Toccata - A Little Bit of Dust from the Dirtman
About four days of harvest to go! We have about 100 tons to pick, mostly Cabernet, Nebbiolo, Petit Verdot, and our small lot of Freisa. This will be one of the earliest harvests I have experienced in the last 44 years for a variety of reasons, none of which are bad. Our Harvest Party is planned to be right after harvest but this year, it will be four weeks later, which is also ok. We have a great deal of time to get things ready for all of you attending.
Harvesting was done at a fast pace this year. The big issue was trying to keep up with the varieties as they matured. Some were out of sequence from past experience so we had to monitor all the varieties and had some unusual results. For example, Sangiovese, is normally picked almost last of the Italian varietials, but this year it was picked prior to most of them. I expect the vintage to be very good. The volume of grapes was good this year but not high and all of the grapes reached full maturity so color, flavor, and alcohol were at optimum. Our Barbera, for the third year in a row, was a stand-out. Mother Nature left it alone. These will all be wines to look forward to.
2013 Sole Bianco: Our Italian white blend was designed to be flavorful, refreshing, a quality wine, and priced for volume! Great at parties for 100 or more! The 2013 is a blend of 42% Pinot Grigio, 13% Malvasia Bianca, 43% Chenin Blanc, and 2% Late Harvest Muscat Canelli. When you stir it all together, success! It has the residual sugar of .65 but don’t frown! That’s the same as you’ll find in Rombauer Chardonnay. Or Jed Steele’s “Goodchild” Chardonnay. Made to be a cocktail wine or to replace beer as you watch your favorite football team. Go Irish!
2011 Riserva: Now we move from the fun to the serious. The Super-Tuscan style of blending is still one of the highlights of the wine industry. I’m disappointed that this wine has not been a success in the marketplace but it has been a success with everyone who tries it. The primary blend has more Cabernet than Sangiovese with a splash of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Freisa, aged individually in oak and put back into oak for a short period of time after blending. It is full bodied with a hint of oak, and smooth thanks to its Sangiovese contribution. It’s in the same class of Lucas & Lewellen’s Valley View Cabernet and Cote del Sol. Designed for food where it’s at its best.
I expect you all to be at the Harvest Party! You can’t be marked present if you’re not there!
Thanksgiving is a time that we should all make time to take a good look around and be thankful for those who surround us. And make sure the circle is large. I would especially like to thank all of those at Lucas & Lewellen who helped grow the grapes and make the wine for all of us to enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving from Royce Lewellen and Louis Lucas.