Extreme weather that included frost, cold temperatures early in the season, heat spikes in August and even the smoke from fire. It was a season that challenged even the finest winemakers. Of course, it’s in a vintage like 2008 that one gets to see who those “finest” winemakers are. Whether they have a resource advantage or a simple knack for making wine, the stars that shone in 2008 are all worth following.
For great insight on the vintage, I recommend downloading the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission’s Harvest Report, which is loaded with details regarding the vintage as well as comments from the growers and producers themselves. Comments that I would take with a grain of salt (of course they have a vested interest here), but which do help round out one’s impressions.
I found that the wines offered the typical range of styles and quality levels, though in general there was a somewhat less flamboyant character to many of the wines than in previous vintages. Balance and ripeness seem to have, thankfully in my opinion, taken their place!
Photo courtesy Wilson Loo via Flickr/CC