Happy New Year! What is it like to have a business where every year in January, you start over? It’s called growing grapes. Before we begin the New Year, let’s give a little bit of information about last year. 2022 was the second smallest crop that we have harvested in 25 years. Mother Nature is to blame for giving us the small crop in the first place, and then for trying to fry it in the severe heat wave.
Despite all that, the grapes that we did pick were outstanding, and the wines are very interesting. The grapes matured at lower sugar levels, so we will be seeing lower alcohols in some of the wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, which I think is exciting.
Now for the New Year. We have been praying for rain and so far, it looks like we are going to have a very wet winter. Between what we have received and what is forecasted, things are looking up. We will use less water in the vineyard and rainwater helps cleanse the salts from the soils, which grapevines need. The race has started.
2020 Sauvignon Blanc: Sometimes certain grapes produce an unexpected wine. This wine is a little different than previous years. A bit more ripe and citrus-forward than normal, this vintage delivers more flavors of caramelized pear. The important thing we try to do is to let the grapes express themselves. This year that expression was a little different than in the past. The more I taste it, the better I like it. Sometimes you have to shoot from the hip!
2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, “Cote del Sol”: Did you ever get an A+ in school? This is an A+ wine. It has everything from nose to color to taste. It is smooth but bold. It is soft but big with a hint of oak. It is a Cabernet that has had the edges sawed off. I think it may be one of the best wines we have ever made. If it were in a Napa bottle, you couldn’t afford it!
We are looking forward to our visit with many of you to the Rancho de los Caballeros Dude Ranch and Golf Resort in Wickenburg, Arizona at the end of this month. When my grandfather came from Croatia around 1900, within a few months he found himself in Wickenburg, Arizona. He was a miner there for 30 years before he brought his family to California. There was no road to Wickenburg until 1942.
Bring your favorite heartthrob to our Valentine Wine Dinner at the Alisal River Grill on February 14th. We will see you there.