From the Ground Up
I had a little reservation about the weather when preparing for our annual wine cruise but was pleasantly surprised that the storms either stayed ahead or lagged behind us. Our experience on the boat was excellent. Holland America continues to treat us right. Our wine scare that our wine wasn’t going to make it to the boat on time proved to be just a scare and the wines tasted great and were enjoyed by all. I didn’t realize how much of the history of North America happened along the east coast of Canada. The trip was finished off with an outstanding winemaker dinner in Quebec City.
A couple of weeks after we returned from the cruise, Jill and I went to Ohio to visit her family and did an exceptional winemaker dinner in Wooster and a very well received tasting in Akron. From there, we went to Southbend, Indiana for my 50 year college reunion - a bunch of old people showed up! I didn’t want to fit in, but I did. Lucas & Lewellen wines were poured freely and the 2012 Viognier in your shipment this month was the hit!
2012 Viognier: This was made from the grapes in our Los Alamos Vineyard which is the cooler region of our two Viognier plantings, the other being at Calzada in Santa Ynez. This variety usually requires advanced maturity to reach a high profile flavor factor, and it is usually recommendend to be grown in warmer areas, like Calzada. By growing it in Los Alamos, we are able to let it have a little more hang time so that we may pick it later and at lower sugars. The result is great flavors and less alcohol with this wine at around 13.5%. Full of flavor and with a crispness that is balanced with a small amount of residual sugar, this Viognier drinks real easy when well chilled on a warm day.
2009 Pinot Noir, Special Club Reserve: The Goodchild Ranch is three tiered: River Bottom, Bench, and High 9. The grapes for this wine came from the bench, which consists of an array of clones, primarily 667 but also some 777, a little bit of 113, and the original clone planted at Tepusquet Vineyards, which we’ve given the name VR for “very rare” or Vosne-Romanée. Grown on a gentle slope in loam soils that are reddish in color and with not much organic matter, vines are small to medium size with not much vigor. Wines from this lot have a flavor profile of mineral and earth with dried fruit character, much different from our High 9 Pinot.
Recently our Bordeaux varieties, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Valley View Cabernet, and Clone 6 Cabernet have won gold medals, all from the Valley View Vineyard.
Next month is our annual Vineyard Tour. The grape vines are a little more advanced this year than in the past. If the weather continues, we should be well into veriason, when the young grapes takie on sugar, and turn soft and red with color. Dress comfortably.