Monday, October 22, 2012

2012 Harvest Update Continued

We've made it… after months of watching our grapes slowly mature, the time has come to turn off the oven and get to the fun part. I was up in Oakville and St. Helena late last week with our winemaker Tim checking out our rows of Cabernet, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, and things look remarkable. As in textbook, this is how you draw up the anatomy of an ideal vintage remarkable. Big, beautiful clusters that are densely packed with berries dripping with sweet juice.
Grapes like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have mostly long-since been picked, but our Bordeaux varietals made the most out of sunshine, maxed out their flavor potential and were picked this weekend. Now that all our fruit is in, we’re looking at some seriously promising raw materials.
What I find most fascinating about the last stages before harvest are the differences that varietals – and even clones within those varietals - show late in the game. It’s where you can really see the variations in skin thickness, juice ratio and cluster size. Even seed maturation, one of the hallmarks of ripeness, varies among clones within a vineyard where they’re planted just a few rows apart. It gives you a sense of the sheer amount of decisions that go into the growing process and the staggering number of subtle variables to consider.
From our point of view, 2012 is likely going to be the rare combination of a big crop with exceptional quality. We’ll take it!
--Rhett Gadke
Wine Director

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