All our fruit is now in, with the picking and pressing of Corral Creek Lower Block Riesling today. This adds to a lovely array of Riesling blocks from Corral Creek, Stoller, Ridgecrest and our Mother Block at Wind Ridge—for once we will have adequate volumes for separate winemaking of each clone from the Mother Block, where we inventory all the clones we can find for Riesling in the US.
The winery is chock full of CO2 in the morning when doors are swung open, fans turned on, and we head for the coffee pot. Everything is now fermenting, both whites and reds, with punchdowns and yeast feedings and sampling and more punchdowns or pumpovers. Without fruit to process, the work is more compact in general, but with late night punchdowns keeping real rest from happening. Wynne has been good at getting everyone a day off every week since we began, so the crew spirit seems good.
Because of the reduced Pinot Noir harvest this year due to hail damage at Ridgecrest and Wind Ridge and due to a fallow year for one of our blocks at Stoller, where grafting is converting clone 113 to Pommard and Wadenswil clones, everything “had a home” fermentor this year, not requiring a turning of tanks to get it all in. Also, compactness also means ferments will end and press out very close to each other—talk to me next week this time and we’ll likely have no ferment left in the house. And the next week will be one of consuming barrel work.
Comparing to recent past vintages, 2012 to me resembles possibly 2004 or 1998, based on heat, rain, cropload and general character of the fruit. We are pleased so far, will assess results soon, and will report to you. Later, you will be pleased as well.
Weather and Its Implications
With some nice dry and sunny days recently, but with Fall days ahead that differ only in the amount of rain that will fall, not whether it falls, we have today brought in our last Riesling block—often we try to extend hangtime as long as possible, up to a point.
And today’s the point. In summary for the year, the fully warm summer and dry ripening period has given us a year with very good phenolic ripeness, deeply saturated colors, and round fruit flavors. Early ferments are going to press soon, beginning today, so we’ll be able to confirm the excellent hopes for this being a great vintage.