Today has been an exciting day. It’s the first day of harvest and we are picking ten tons each of Los Alamos Chardonnay and Los Alamos “Clone 777” Pinot Noir. We are trying to duplicate what we did in 2008 when we made our multiple Gold Medal and Best of Class winning Brut Sparkling Wine. So, this morning at 6:30, we began vintage 2012. The grape crop continues to do well and we are just hoping that it ripens soon.
Last week, I had a great trip to Napa. Jill and I attended a pre-harvest party with the de Leuze family at ZD. We have been selling them grapes since 1975. The St. Helena area is the destination of most of the grapes that we market, wineries like Caymus, Sattui, Trinchero, and Steele nearby. Everyone was preparing to enter the harvest mode.
2011 Gewürztraminer: Last year’s crop was quite small. We split the grapes with Sattui Winery. This wine is another example of moving forward, both in the vineyard and winery. Our young vines now complement our old vines with fine floral character and full spice. I’ve watched guests in our tasting room marvel at this wine. One wine buff sent me an email referring to it as similar to J.J. Prüm, a great German producer. This one is special.
2008 Cabernet Franc: I see these vines everyday in my yard. Yesterday, I chased a persistent young buck deer as he had been feasting on one of my bunches and then he proceeded to tear up my bird netting! If I were a hunter, he would be sausage. Lucky buck.
This wine, of course, follows our 2007, which was in the “best yet” category. And this one might catch up to that with a little time. It’s big in the nose and has a softness to it, but yet has bold young tannins. I am more than pleased with this wine. Cabernet Franc has proven recently that it can be grown in many places, including the North Fork of Long Island. Cabernet Franc is one of the components of our Valley View Cabernet Sauvignon and finds its way into Toccata Riserva as well. Andy says to serve it with duck, Anjie says to serve it with pulled pork, and I say prime rib. Guess who’s the quack!
Don’t forget about the Harvest Festival on October 13th. Come early and bring your clippers! L&L’s Harvest Festival “Taste the Gold” Winemaker Dinner will be at Root 246 on that Friday evening, limited to 20 guests this year. Sounds very personal to me.