I am spending more time back at the winery, rather than keeping in touch via the wonders of modern science. This allows for tracking progress through primary and malo-lactic fermentation and allows me know when to sulphur but doesn't necessarily help either manner of topping or adds. Because those decisions are made based on taste and appearance. What I mean by manner of topping is if the wine is clean (no surface film), I stir and then top it. If there is a surface film then I flush the film onto the ground, and repeat this at least one more time. Adds are also different for me I do all of them after bench trials, and by taste. “Bench trials” are done by pulling a sample of the wine and making additions in the same ratio that they would be in the whole lot of wine. Since I don’t like to alter the environment that the yeast or ML bacteria are working (living) in I almost always wait until the completion of all desired fermentations before making adds.
Okay enough about winemaking, you want to know how the wines are showing (tasting). All the wines are showing well for the stage they’re at in the aging process. For those that like the ’08 Sauvignon Blanc, the ’09 is looking to be very similar. The Pinots are developing nicely, with the components of the Sonoma Coast looking like the better vineyards and the vintage is going to lead to a “bigger” Pinot this year. The Chardonnay’s are a little hard to evaluate because they’re racing through ML and are mostly "buttered popcorn" right now, that will eventually change. The Zins are both doing fine and just need another 6 months to smooth out the rough edges.
Last but not least, we will be pouring at ZAP this weekend (Jan. 30/31), both ‘06s and a preview of the ’07 Alta (down to less than 10 cases of ’06). If you want to say hello to me personally, head to the table before 1:30 PM as I’ll be leaving early to host a winemaker dinner for Londer Estates, but Shea and Adrian will be there to answer your questions.
Winemaker & Artisan, Rick Davis, started Calstar Cellars in 2001 to marry art and science to his love of wine. Read Rick's thoughts on all things wine!