Dear Club Members and Friends,
Welcome to the May installment of our newsletter. After an unseasonably warm and dry early spring we have been lucky enough to receive a brief but heavy rainfall that was a timely reminder that it is not yet summer. The warm weather has certainly promoted growth in the vines. We already have Sangiovese in full flower and several other varieties on the verge of flowering.
This bodes well for an early harvest, or at the least not a late one. The cool, damp pattern we are currently experiencing may have some effect on flowering and hence fruit set that may be of a concern to some growers. For us there is no real concern as the Sangiovese performs better with a slightly shattered set. It regularly “crops” on the heavy side and we then need to go through several times “dropping shoulders and bunches” to achieve balance in the vine. A naturally poor set means that each bunch will have fewer berries and be more loose and airy. This means a more even ripeness and less work thinning the bunches later as well as reduced disease pressure.
At the end of the month we will be bottling the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc and the 2011 Rosso di Sonoma. It is always exciting to see the SB go to tank as each barrel is subtly different. We have three quite different batches being blended together and aside from some trials, it is the first time to see the wine as a whole. It is a beauty. It has a serious structure for that variety, intense fruit, densely packed with flavor and a very long finish of lemon and limes with the characteristic hints of herb. Delicious! It will be released later in summer when the 2011 runs out. I can wait, I love the 2011 equally and it has been received overwhelmingly well by the trade and public alike. We finish the SB ferment in barrel so these wines appeal to Chardonnay drinkers (who might not like SB as much) along with die-hard SB fans.
The beginning of May marked my second trip to Dallas for the year. The prior trip in January saw us tour many of the leading restaurants there that now list our wines. This trip took in more of the retail outlets as well as some wine events in restaurants we visited previously. One was a fantastic wine and cheese pairing event at Scardello’s Artisan Cheese. This was a revelation to me and I was super impressed with the pairings Rich put together and the variety of nuances he was able to draw from the wines depending on the cheese. One of my favorites was the salty Gouda paired with the slight sweetness of the 2011 Rosato. Another fun event was pouring wines at Vino Volo in Terminal A of the Dallas Fort Worth Airport. They have a chain of wine bars located in airports around the country serving an eclectic mix of fine wines and small plates to accompany them. It’s fantastic how much the quality of food and beverage available in airports has improved over the last few years.
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