Cabernets this weekend

I got word from our other grower that this weekend the fruit’s coming off his vineyard, ready or not. It’s been a difficult year for him, as it has for a lot of growers in the region: late fruit set in the spring means late ripening in the fall, and this grower is feeling that especially.

I’m still waiting for numbers from him, but I’ll be heading east on Saturday or Sunday to pick up Cabernet Sauvignon and our treasured Cabernet Franc. Late though it may be, I’m hoping we get the same luck we got with Westrey’s Oracle Pinot this year – not jammy ripe, but physiologically ripe, that special interlocking sensation when everything’s in balance and the fruit lasts and lasts on your tongue. Some of that’s due to extra hang time during cool fall nights, which keeps the acid intact even as ripeness progresses during the day. We’ll know soon enough!

In other news, the syrah is mighty happy to see us. So happy, in fact, that it’s overflowing its fermenter. In the interest of retaining thermal mass (the same principle as huddling together for warmth, I’d guess), I decided to divide one of the extra 30-gallon fermenters of syrah between another 30-gallon and the stainless steel tank. Was it close to the top? Oh, sure, a little, but what could go wrong? Now I know.

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