The summer months of July and August are about prepping wines for bottling, finalizing sources for grapes and working sales.
This year, addressing smoke taint, a reality for Northern California wines given excessive draught throughout the region, in the Anderson Valley wines has made bottle prep much harder and more time consuming. The upside to this bottling season is the non-smoke tainted lots are showing really well and this is exciting. One wine that is particularly exciting for me is the small lot Sangiacomo Pinot Noir, my first release from the well-known Sangiacomo family vineyards.
Bottle prep is the final creative step in a vintage where I consider flavors that I like and what should be altered for each blend. The bottling process is a matter of making sure all supplies are ready and that the equipment is operating properly. A matter of dotting I's and crossing T's, not necessarily creative, but very important.
The 2009 vintage is exciting, as I will be adding 5 new sources to my portfolio. Pinot Noir from Marshall, Vining and Saginani Vineyards; Chardonnay from Sangiacomo, and Manchester Ridge Vineyards as well as adding to the Pinot Noir sourced Sangiacomo's Roberts Road Vineyard.
Sales are going well despite the economy, particularly in Maryland, where the 2008 Sauvignon Blanc was particularly well received.
Summer in the Cellar.