13 February 2012

No excuses (from me)

I apologize for not writing these last three weeks, I think my writing mojo wasn't flowing.  I have been busy, both in the winery and at home and maybe that is part of the reason I haven't wanted to sit down and write.  So here it is Saturday morning and Mary, Karri and I are on I-5 on our way to Portland to meet with Cindy our label designer to talk labels, pick colors and hopefully get closer to the finish line.  We have both the rosé and the sparkling to release and I think Mary is holding out for the new labels in order to force us into getting these labels done.  You might even get to have the 2008 Vintner's Blend if we get the new labels and imagine, the 2008 Dunn Forest also waiting in the wings.

I've also been working on the neck freezer and I think it is going to work.  There is a picture of it iced up on our Facebook page here.  I froze a single bottle last week and if I had been a little more patient it would have done the job.  I've been having a go-around in my mind about the financial sense of renting a refrigerator storage unit to chill the bottles before trying to freeze the necks for disgorging.  The advantage would be two fold, first we should lose less wine because of the reduced pressure due to the chilled bottles and I think the neck freezer will work faster meaning the disgorging should go faster.  Weighing those advantages against the cost of the rental is the financial question.  Decisions, decisions . . . of course if the refrigeration company would get back to me with a quote it might be easier to decide!

Two weeks ago we had our annual pinot noir tasting up at Montinore that was interesting and educational as always.  There was definitely a theme to the 2011 wines of bright acid and rich fruit.  It is hard to tell what the acid will do as the wines continue though ML (malo-lactic fermentation) but I think there are going to be some beauties.  In my barrel room a few of the barrels have nearly finished ML and they taste lovely, lots of spice and rich fruit with moderate alcohol and nice acidity.  This lot might be a little soft in the acid department but until the rest of the barrels finish I won't be addressing that issue.  The rosé is lovely and I am excited to get it bottled.  I think one of the advantages to haveing barrel fermented the wine, which I can now see in hindsight, is that I was able to use a variety of yeasts and now I have a definite opinion on the yeasts if we decide to do another rosé.  Some produced a more floral, fruit driven wine while others have a more earthy, spicy character all of which adds to the overall complexity of the wine.

We have also been working on the Seven blends so that I can get the wines together and ready for bottling.  Mary and I have tasted through several ideas and I think we are getting close.  Just down to a little tweaking now.  Then of course there is all the normal work that goes on in the winery this time of year, checking MLs, topping barrels, the rosé is pictured above, stirring the chardonnay and admiring the visiting wild life, pictured at top.  I love the reflection of the great blue in the pond.  Unfortunately I couldn't get any closer and you can tell I was maxing out the zoom capability on my camera but hopefully you still get the feeling of peace.
(Monday morning)  The meeting went very well and I am really excited about the new labels.  We have the font narrowed down to probably 3 choices and picked out potential colors for the varietals.  Each varietal will have its own color and then the specialty wines; port, rosé, and sparkling wine will also have their own colors.  I think the collection as a whole is really striking and I'm looking forward to seeing the label on the shelf when compared to other wineries.  Very exciting!

Back at the house, our newly painted bathroom, tiling the floor and walls is next.