Last weekend's northward vineyard visits quickly moved from the carefree feeling of "plenty of summertime left" to the shell-shocked realization of "wait, what?" At the first stop, we found the fruit for the 2012 top secret project a whole heap riper than expected. We're now looking at a possible next-week pick to kick off harvest. (!!!) All shall be revealed in time regarding this new/old project, so if you're interested, well, stay tuned.
Dear me, if all the top-secret clusters were as ripe as this one, we might have been in trouble. Thankfully, not just yet. Did get good and sticky munching on it, though!
Moving on to the non-secret projects: Kick On Ranch Vineyard pinot noir's coming along nicely, and appears a bit ahead of ripening schedule ... early-mid September, perhaps? (We shall see what we shall see with this warm weather of late!) The clusters are nice and healthy, and from the taste, I think we'll have no trouble hanging on to the fantastic acid levels that are a hallmark of this vineyard. We've just bottled the 2011; we're incredibly excited about the potential. It's spicy, brambly and lithe, and has a high-toned something on the nose that I can only describe as pheromonal.
Then, there's riesling. Confounding, amazing Kick On Ranch riesling. Not a blush of veraison to be seen, which makes one think ... later pick? Or, not? Going into our third year of working with this fruit, the one thing we know for sure is that just about anything can happen. (And, we'd better be ready when it does.)
The Green Goblin looks absolutely fabulous this year.
Syrah? Did someone say syrah? Yes, syrah. Alamo Creek Vineyard – home of the 2011 La Belle Rêveuse, still in barrel and showing remarkable texture and depth – is tearing through veraison, though (let us all cross our fingers here) it seems we should have plenty of weeks left before it's ready to pick.
And, naturally, we stopped to visit our beautiful Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard grenache. That lovely fruit's working its way toward becoming (first) the Uncontainable Vin Gris and (in a later pick) our 100-percent Grenache flagship bottling, which will be showing up with a bit of a new name soon, about which all I have to say is this: Creatures that fly can't ever truly be owned by anyone.
Behold the birds of the sky... SBHV, Harvest 2011
It's about to get started, and we couldn't be happier. Stick around for the ride, friends!
Harvest 2012 is almost under way.