We just received our December issue of The Wine Advocate
. Robert Parker reviewed our Syrahs with scores from 88-90.
These three excellent, heady 2004 Syrahs are made in an up-front, juicy, immediate gratifying style...
Thank you to all of our friends who have already sent notes of congratulation.
I just finished reading Ancient Wine : The Search for the Origins of Viniculture
. The book is fairly dry and a bit hard to read. That being said, I enjoyed it. Some interesting points:
- King Midas was a drunk who loved wine (well maybe)
- Wine residue can be found in pottery chards about 7,000 years old
- The flavor/tannins imparted by Oak are similar to the resin that pine imparts in wine. These resins have antioxidant properties among other things.
- Greeks drinked well made wine "neat" and added water to other wines - I know many California wine makers who would argue that it has now reversed but I am not sure they are correct.
Our tasting in Rochester went wonderfully well. Craig, a friend from Kodak, did a great job helping me pour wines and explaining the history of donkeys in wine making. The employees at WineSense
were very helpful and it made for an enjoyable evening. If you visit the store, wish Kristin a belated Happy Birthday.
Happy Holidays from Gibson, Isabel, Tracey and Jared
I had a few minutes at the winery today and decided to taste the two varietals that are new to us this year. Of course, new is relative. We made both of these in France in 2002.
The Mourvedre is unreal. It tastes great now - really great. It still has the wild strawberry flavor which it has had from the beginning. Every time I taste it, I think of summer in the mountains picking tiny wild strawberries.
The Grenache also tastes wonderful but it is changing. It has already picked up a bit of weight and the tannins have calmed down a wee bit.
If you happen to be in Rochester, New York this coming Friday I will be pouring several of our 2004s at Wine Sense from 5 to 7 PM. Wine Sense is at 749 Park Avenue i Rochester - http://www.wedefinewine.com/
Recently, a customer stated he liked our Chardonnay but we should limit our use of new oak. We don't use any new oak in our Chardonnay (or any wine for that matter) thus the dilemma. Should we tell him that he is tasting something else? Perhaps he is mistaking the impact of limestone on flavors? Or maybe the acid balance is making the oak taste more precise.
If he were local, I might invite him to barrel taste. He could see the 1, 2 and 3 year old barrels impact on Chardonnay plus we could taste new oak on Chardonnay from a friend's barrel. Tasting is the best way to learn.
When we were learning wine making in France, we were given the task of tasting 6 or so barrels of "Noble Rot", a dessert wine, and saying which one was the sweetest and which had the most acid. It was a very hard task and we didn't get it right the first time but we learned.
For now, the customer is always right and Isabel isn't sure about the flavor of Oak...
Harvest 2005 stats:
-105 days from ver jus to pressing broken leg (2520 hours)
-420 sleeping hours (give or take)
- >10,000 miles on the used-to-be-new Prius
-175 trips across the bay bridge
-9lbs lost (dave, jared and i are sadly at parity or worse with all the fast food)
-11.2 tons of stellar wine grapes
-24 barrels which should produce ~550 cases or 6600 bottles of wine
As in year's past we could not possibly have pulled this off without the enormously generous help and support of our family and friends. How we got so lucky I just don't know.
Now we sleep for the winter.
Tracey & Jared