Archive for October, 2010

One down, seven to go

Syrah-crifice over Stonehenge

Somewhere around 6am, I pulled out of the Safeway parking lot with snacks and a 4-pack of Red Bull, and pointed the truck east into the sunrise. Ten hours and an enological sacrifice later, I was backing up the driveway with a combined 1200 lbs of merlot and syrah. Like slipping into an old pair of jeans: the 350-mile harvest road trip to fetch the good stuff!

I’ll post our numbers later, but the grapes tasted pretty good, and in fact, surprisingly racy for Washington fruit. I think we could have pulled the merlot a day or two earlier, but picking it when we picked the syrah saved us a trip — and besides, of the two, the blend-destined merlot quite usable a little less than perfect.

But yeah, the syrah: great acidity but also great flavor; clean berries, crunchy seeds. This one’s going to be fantastic if we don’t F it up — something I made sure of by stopping at Stonehenge on the way back for our ritual sacrifice (see picture above).

More pics below the fold…
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It’s SO on! Crush begins tomorrow!

Truck and trailer rented, new crusher/destemmer on-site, and 3 or 4 Red Bulls to prop up a looooong road trip: Vintage 2010 is ON, people!

I’ll be schlepping both merlot and syrah tomorrow. For various logistical reasons here and at the vineyard, they’ll probably be a bit riper than we’d like, but the cool weather there (and here) has ensured they’ve retained the acid they’ll need to make a balanced wine. Can’t wait to taste ’em.

So, sometime around 1pm Tuesday, listen to the east for thunderclaps and the distant caroling or angels as I make the first ritual sacrifice at Stonehenge on the back back into the Gorge. Gosh bless Les Garagistes and their fermentin’ ways!

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Bottling the first 2009s

A fermenter full of Peug
It was long day, but the magnificent 2009 Peugeot blend (one discerning wine critic’s opinion of which is pictured above) is now officially concocted and resting calmly. We’ll let it reflect on its nature through the winter and bottle it next April, but in the meantime, everything that didn’t go into that blend got socked away under lock and cork.

Well, almost everything. Cabernet Franc (which we goosed with a wee dram of Syrah – 5%), Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon got stowed, but we ran out of time to bottle our 09 Pinot Noir and extended maceration (or “Ex Machina”) Cabernet Sauvignon. Those laggards will reach their final resting place this weekend, just hours before our first fruit of 2010 hurtles down the chute.

But as exhausting as it was, we got a lot done and the wines will more than make up for our labors, I think. Not to put too fine a point on it, but they’re friggin’ fantastic — made so in great measure by excellent fruit sources. Of course, the lovely lamb stew waiting for us after bottling didn’t hurt, either…

More pics after the jump…
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