Harvest 2006 started here on August 31. An early growing season start in mid-March was followed by considerable cold, wet weather in late March and early April. Warm, dry weather has prevailed since then but the late rains delayed grapevine bloom until late May. Very warm weather in late June and July brought berry development along quickly and moderate warmth in August was ideal for final ripening. So far so good. Indeed, the grapes we have picked have had excellent balance and character.
Our 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon is now available. From a well regarded Cabernet vintage in general, in these parts, this wine has the pleasant constituent combination that will allow it to be enjoyed with pleasure when young and also to age well for many years. It should not begin to decline until at least 2020, if well stored, and may live somewhat longer. We blended 15% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc into this vintage.
The Mayacamas 2004 Pinot Noir is being released now also. We usually age our Pinots a little longer than two years but this wine is developing very attractive flavors now so it deserves to see the world. Pinot Noirs go nicely with most traditional red wine dishes, particularly the lighter ones, and also complement salmon and other flavorful seafoods as well.
Several very good wine vintages occurred in the 1990s, and 1992 was one of them, particularly for Cabernet Sauvignon. Our 1992 Cabernet continues to develop nuances and complexity and will improve for about five more years. It is 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Merlot.
A new generation of our family arrived on this planet sixteen months ago. Jackson isn’t much of a grape picker yet but his entertainment value is, of course, colossal. He delights in riding along the bottling line conveyor in an empty wine case and we built a playpen for him out of wine cases. We call it Fort Jackson. If grandchildren aren’t the greatest invention ever, they’re plenty close enough for me.