Winter. So much goes on unseen, beneath the surface. The vines look as though they're hibernating quietly; but their growth energies are still vibrant, just concentrated downward, inward. After the culmination of Fall's glorious harvest whirlwind, this is the time in the winery to commune with those seemingly hibernating barrels. Press your ear close, and take a listen. They'll tell you exactly what they're doing ... the noisily crackling bubbles of a busy malolactic fermentation; the soft pips of a languid one. If you lean in just right, you can hear your own heart beating through the staves, an echo amplified by the living wine inside. It resonates.
Bottle, Meet Cork. Repeat. 1,140 Times.
Winter in the winery also means bottling. There's been plenty of that around here, with 25 cases each of the 2010 La Paloma Libresca Grenache and La Belle Rêveuse Syrah put under cork in December. They're coming along very nicely in bottle. We'll see how they continue to develop, but are hopeful for a spring release.
And, good news for lovers of the pink! We can guarantee a spring release for the 2011 Uncontainable Vin Gris of Grenache (25 cases), which was bottled February 4. It's incredibly sprightly and citrusy this year, and we're very excited about it.
The glamorous world of winemaking: Uncontainable prepares to receive a cork. If you happen to get your hands on the Uncontainable, you can be assured (1) so worth doing, and (2) I put every one of those corks in myself.
We bottled our 20 wee cases of 2011 The Augur Kick On Ranch Riesling the following day. This wine is so dramatically different from the still-unreleased 2010 that I just have to shake my head and chuckle. It's pretty clear that it will beat its older sibling to market, and what a perfect demonstration of vintage variation! The large amount of botrytis cinerea (noble rot) in 2011, almost nonexistent in the dry, cool 2010 growing season, lends a completely different flavor profile and mouthfeel. Vive le différence!
Taste the Love
But what better way to understand these crazy/beautiful wines than to taste them yourself? Now that the days are getting longer (at last!), the festive thought of Spring's arrival brings plans for a cellar open house in March. If you'll be around and would like to stop by, just let us know. We'll fill you in.