After a very early budbreak, vine growth slowed dramatically this spring as cool, wet weather returned. But, once the storminess ended, summer came on in spades. Very warm to hot weather then persisted through mid-August. Temperatures have moderated since, which is just fine. Crop levels are even more variable than usual, from quite large to very small depending on the grape variety and location. Grape quality is, of course, largely determined by the weather in the final few weeks of ripening, now upon us.
Our 2000 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon is now available. It has a definite briary component to the aroma and flavor, as is often the case with our Cabernets, particularly when they are young. A soft and slightly earthy character in the finish suggests that it won’t be as long a wait for maturity as some of our Cabernet vintages. But,we expect it to continue to improve for at least ten more years.
The library re-release vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon this year is the 1991. Long a favorite around here, it continues to fulfill its great early promise but will still benefit from further cellaring. Peak maturity is always a matter of personal taste but we are enjoying it greatly now with an hour or two of aeration before serving. However, those who save some bottles for at least five more years will be well rewarded.
Our 2002 Chardonnay is being very well received and continues to develop as hoped. It can be enjoyed now and for several more years as it matures. The 1999 Chardonnay is fully mature but by no means fading. If well stored it will remain in prime condition for at least another year.
A vigorous Bishop of Seville in his late nineties was once asked as to what he attributed his good health at such a ripe age. He replied that he always drank a bottle of wine every day except when he was feeling poorly. Then he drank two bottles.