fall of 2000 saw a few light rains before and during our harvest
but never enough to cause significant problems and overall grape
quality was very good. However, variable weather during the prior
spring resulted in uneven fruit set and our crop quantity was
rain, hail and very cold frost followed our dry early winter.
So, while rainfall finally can be termed adequate, some frost
damage occurred. A few places lost major portions of their crop
but it appears that most sustained only minor damage. However,
the full extent of losses cannot be determined until June, when
pollination is complete.
1998 Chardonnay, 1999
Sauvignon Blanc and 1996 Merlot
are now available.
picking started quite late here in 1998 (September 23rd) but proceeded
steadily and the crop was finished on October 26. Sugars and acids
were very good and pH balance was excellent. The resulting wine
gives every promise of long life, which will give it the time
necessary to develop the full Mayacamas style. Hints of mixed
woods give way to perfumes of fig and citrus in the nose, which
follow through in the flavor, to be joined by a little apple nuance.
Lively and delicious right now, this wine will not attain its
full complex depth and richness for about five more years.
1999 Sauvignon Blanc was picked in late
September. It has the usual Mayacamas low pH which makes it tart
and fresh. A tangy, mineral character in it is complemented by
a touch of melon and grapefruit. Youthful and appealing now, it
will enter its prime in two or three years.
years' Merlot offering, the 1996,
is typically Mayacamas. Much richer and more intense than most
Merlots, it will live for fifteen or twenty years, at least. A
suggestion of raw almonds in the nose combines with powerful berry
fruit character in the mouth to give a deep lingering finish.
Bryant, Mayacamas resident for 37 years, is moving to Hawaii.
We will greatly miss her intelligence, affection, warm good humor
and entire persona. But being near her daughter, grand daughter,
and new great grand daughter will be a true joy for her, and for
them. All who know her wish her bon voyage but not goodbye, for
many of us are already planning to visit. Aloha, Edna!
vagaries of weather, pestilence, etc. in farming make it a frequent
gamble, sort of like wine selection, which reminds me of a passage
in A.J. Liebling's great tome, "Between Meals." In it
he said, "Wine drinking is more subjective than horse racing
and nearly as subjective as love, but the gamble is less; you
get something for your money no matter what you pick."