Welcome to the New Year! We have been suffering from spring in January and we have reached the point of concern. This warm weather could hasten bud break before the danger of frost is behind us. I am seeing some swelling in the buds and I have one location in the last block of Sauvignon Blanc where the canes are bleeding when cut. The buds are still tight.
All of our Italian varieties have been pruned except for Nebbiolo. Although it is the first to break bud, we prune it later to delay the bud push. I recently tasted our 2014, 2015, and 2016 Nebbiolo. They all were quite good, especially the 2015. Nebbiolo is a variety that takes five years before it fully expresses itself. Nebbiolo is almost extinct in California. This shipment includes our Valentine gift of our 2012 Nebbiolo, which means it’s on us for you to enjoy for this “love”ly holiday!
2017 Pinot Grigio: This wine should really catch your interest. We’ve made a major switch from making our Pinot Grigio from the Los Alamos Vineyard. We have a few acres in Santa Maria in our coolest zone and this one is produced entirely from those grapes. The results were a pleasant surprise and the wine is exceptional. This one is worth pursuing. It has more flavor than typical Pinot Grigio, which can be a little non-descript. We picked the grapes at a little lower brix (sugar). Flavors are up and so is crispness. This is one that should score well. The total volume of cases that we were able to make is minimal due to the limited production.
2015 Malvasia Bianca: A sweetheart for sweethearts! The most flavorful grape that we grow and a big time favorite over the years in our Tasting Room. Few people make Malvasia Bianca. Its origins are Greece and Croatia. It goes surprisingly well with spicy foods. I will never forget doing a winemaker dinner where the chef paired it with very spicy shrimp scampi. It worked!
2013 Riserva: This wine received a 92 point score in Wine Enthusiast, the highest score yet for a Toccata wine. In the past we have talked about the blending of Bordeaux grapes with Sangiovese. To distinguish it from our Classico, Riserva has more Cabernet than Sangiovese, making it a little bigger and more structured. The blend for this wine is 21.5% Sangiovese, 42.5% 2013 Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% 2012 Valley View Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% each of Freisa, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. We give this wine a little more barrel time and have been improving the quality of the barrels that we use. We only made 112 cases. This is specially priced for our club members before release and will increase to $65-75 in the tasting room, so get your orders in before April 1st. This should be the highlight wine of the year for Toccata and takes Toccata to a new level in quality.
The Vintners Festival is around the corner. We will mark it with a winemaker dinner at First & Oak in Solvang, Wine & Cheese Pairings with live music at Lucas & Lewellen and Toccata, and an appearance at the Festival Grand Tasting at the Lompoc River Park.