October 10, 2007

Picking this weekend

The seven-day forecast looks good, at least for the next four or five days. At the winery we'll be bringing in more fruit over the weekend, and pressing off more lots that were harvested back in later September. It's nice to clear out space in the winery, but we're still filling it back up with newly processed fruit. It's hard to imagine, but that won't keep happening for long.

It's already the second week of October.

Which is exactly why I'm picking this weekend. This warm stretch might be the last shot of good weather we get. With each passing week, you can expect conditions to deteriorate. There's no sign of a warm up. It's time to pick.

On Saturday morning, I'll pick 200 pounds of Chardonnay from Courting Hill vineyard near Banks. I'm getting younger vine Dijon clone stuff, which might be a good thing in a cool year as they ripen quickly and in warm years might be too early. I just want to make some clean white wine for summer drinking. No oak, no malolactic fermentation, we'll see about filtering. At least that's the goal. I'm excited to use my new basket press.

Then on Sunday, a half ton of Pinot Noir that I'm a little worried about. What's new. The grapes are from a cool, higher site. Not exactly your ideal location in a cool year like this. And so the grapes are somewhere in the 21 brix range, which is too low. But like much fruit this year, it looks and tastes more ripe than the sugar shows. I'm hoping just a few days of sunshine will push the sugars up. But I'm excited to make lower alcohol, ripe Pinot Noir. At least I hope the wine I get ends up tasting ripe. We'll know in a few weeks.

For a tasting note, the 2003 J. P. Brun "l'Ancien" Beaujolais V.V., an atypically ripe Gamay wine with a full body and even a raisined note in the aroma. This wasn't low acid Zinfandel by any means, but certainly not the light, lithe Brun Beaujolais we're used to. Glad this was my only experimental bottle. It's fine, and it's not in decline. But it's a bit odd. Bottled with a synthetic cork by the way, which seems controversial these days for oxidation issues. No problem here, but I might not store these wines on their sides if I knew there wasn't a real cork. Don't you think?

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