April 14, 2010
Spent the day in the winery, which is always a good thing. Checked every red barrel and am very excited about the development. The Chambourcin is holding true to its intended design, a wonderful light-bodied, medium tannin approach. I topped up all the barrels with a Petit Verdot / Cab Sauv mix to add in some dark fruit and weight. Will be bottling the 2009 Celtico on May 6th.
Also ran through all the Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, and Petit Verdot and the wines are showing beautifully. Two barrels of the Merlot needed a splash-racking to burn off some H2S and settled back in to the barrel successfully. Interesting to note the Cab Franc is showing some more pronounced varietal characteristics than in previous years - interesting black pepper notes and a fuller body. Likely due to vine maturity and less aggressive leaf-pulling than in years past, but also made a few changes during fermentation (Opti-Red and different yeast selections) so am very pleased with the results.
One last topping for the whites, which will be bottled on May 6/7 along with the Celtico. "Ottantotto" barrel Viognier, "Calor" barrel Chardonnay and the new "Verano" barrel Vidal Blanc all showing round silky mouthfeel, hints of oak and gorgeous golden color. I had set aside four 5-gallon carboys of the Chardonnay in late fall after a racking (never want half-filled barrels) and used these to top. It was interesting to compare the bouquet differences between the carboy Chard and the barrel - I think the carboys will add in a nice fruity element to the nose of the finished wine.
Stay tuned for bottling updates and release dates!
Posted by Stephen at April 14, 2010 5:23 PM