Wine Talk

Snooth User: outthere

2012 Growing Season

Original post by outthere, May 16, 2012.

Thought I'd start a new thread rather than clog the Rosé thread with a drift.

As I was telling you Fox, bloom is iminent. I took these shots this afternoon at Copain.

Ready to burst at any time. Hopefully we have a normal weather year for a change.

Replies

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Aug 15, 2012.

Nice shots, OT.  Isn't that one of those Teinturier grapes?

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Reply by outthere, Aug 15, 2012.

Yup!

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Reply by outthere, Aug 21, 2012.

Dutton Ranch is preparing for harvest. Lighting and bins on the ready.

 

Martinelli Rd Old Vine Zinfandel

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Reply by nodonutz, Aug 24, 2012.

Foxall and DMCKER - if you are still interested re: Paul Buzzo Act. A quick history. A kid way back when saw someone throw a cigarette out the window. Thought, "there should be a law against that." Researched it and found there was none. Went to his local legislator, who championed the cause, and wha-la - they named the law after the kid. I used to be a cop in CA and wrote a TON of these citations - a pet peeve. Besides littering, the fire danger is caused is incredible.
And now you know - ND in ND

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Reply by nodonutz, Aug 24, 2012.
This post is from a new user, and will be hidden until approved by a moderator View Post

Foxall and DMCKER - if you are still interested re: Paul Buzzo Act. A quick history. A kid way back when saw someone throw a cigarette out the window. Thought, "there should be a law against that." Researched it and found there was none. Went to his local legislator, who championed the cause, and wha-la - they named the law after the kid.
   I was just looking this Act up for a friend, and came across your post; they are having a huge grassland fire in South Dakota and think it might have been started by a 'butt-head' - the term I used for these kinds of people.  I used to be a cop in CA and wrote a TON of these citations - a pet peeve. Besides littering, the fire danger is caused is incredible.
And now you know - ND in ND
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Reply by JonDerry, Aug 26, 2012.

Just looked at the forecast, the weather in the bay looks like it will be very reasonable over the next couple of weeks.

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Reply by outthere, Aug 27, 2012.

JD, I was talking with a Vineyard Mgr out on Eastside Rd the other day and asked him how close to harvest they were on their Pinot. He said they are having issues getting the proper ripeness because the foggy mornings have been dropping the sugar levels too low. This morning there is no fog and there isn't any in the forecast for the next 4 days. Bubbles should be harvested this week and the still wine will likely be a few  more weeks away.

Harvest is underway at J Vineyards for their Bubbles. This week should be real busy there.

Stopping in for a visit with Mike Smith of Myriad/Quivet/Carter this afternoon to taste through his '10s and barrel sample some '11s. I'll report back when I have a chance.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Aug 27, 2012.

ND:  Yes, I've read that story about the Paul Buzzo act.  It sounds reasonable enough, but I can't find anything in the Legislative History of the act.  (I'm a lawyer in California, so I do stuff like read Legislative Histories to fathom the intent of the laws.)  I found some references to the passage of the act in newspapers, but, again, couldn't find an article spot on.

OT, I think the weather is going in the right direction.  Drove out to Bolinas for a party Saturday and it was foggy there, but everywhere one ridgeline in was nice. 

While I was there, I met a guy making pinot noir under the Furthermore label.  Gotta love living out here where everyone you meet seems to be working out of a custom crush facility.  I brought one of my bottles for the VT on Tuesday which went over really well and I had a bit of his wine, too.  I might post about it later. 

Keep those pix coming and let us know what they're saying.

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Reply by outthere, Sep 11, 2012.

Gracianna Estate Pinot, pic was taken Sunday9-9. It was harvested this morning, 9-11 and the fruit is in cold soak as I type.

 

This years Sauvignon Blanc from Windsor Oaks Vineyard was picked last week and is fermenting in a stainless steel tank.

 

Here are a couple shots of Chardonnay from Dutton Ranch in Green Valley this morning

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 11, 2012.

Spectacular.  Those are some big pinot berries.  As OT knows, I was up that way Labor Day weekend.  You could see big ripe  bunches of grapes just looking out the car window driving on River Road.  The whites looked very ripe, too.

OT, what's the estimated time for picking the chardonnay?  Looks like it might have a little way to go, although I'm no expert, I admit.  Just looks a little greener and more opaque-skinned than I would imagine.  And what's the word on cab?  We're still thinking about going up to Bell in Yountville for a crush party on October 13. I'll never forget being up in Napa two years ago at the corner of Madison and 29 and seeing a jack-knifed truck with grapes spilled all over the road.  There were a whole lot of people feeling bad about that.

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Reply by JonDerry, Sep 12, 2012.

That Pinot fruit looks nice and ripe, definitely some big berries on the left, but looking pretty uniform with the bunches on the right. Chardonnay looks pretty good too, though even more variation in the size of grapes.

Weather looks great today, and looks nice and clear for the next week or so with highs in low to mid 80's, and low's in the 50's. We got a little bit of drizzle here in So Cal over the last few days, any water come down up there?

 

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Reply by outthere, Sep 12, 2012.

The Chard is scheduled to drop next week at the latest.

Not a drop of precip up here. Weather is low 90's through the weekend. I expect the next two weeks to be bustling around here. Napa Valley will hang on as long as they can though there has been some harvesting in the past week or so.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 12, 2012.

Down lower in the Bay, it's cooler, but dry and breezy.  If you like Santa Cruz mountain wines, it's possible they will hang on even a little longer.

OT, will you be more busy or less while the picking is going on?  Seems like everything will be working harder, so more tool needs, but seems like with everyone focusing on getting stuff picked and pressed, they might not have a lot of time to order tools and parts.

In my yard, the figs are ripening just about perfectly this year with no manipulation of the canopy or dropping of fruit.  My wife says the few we have picked are the best we've grown so far.  We're waiting on a second bumper crop of Cherokee Purple tomatoes, steadily harvesting Green Zebras, and seeing a lot of other produce yield gradually but regularly.  (My cherry tomatoes were the DRC of cherry toms last year, but are only so-so this year.) You can really feel the days shortening; what's green now will struggle to ripen before it gets colder, but the weather is mild and pleasant.  I expect we'll get one more hot spell in October, then I'll start shutting down the garden--probably grow sunflowers for amusement, but I've never had much success with or time for winter crops.  Anyone who says we don't have seasons in California should grow grapes or other seasonal produce. 

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Reply by outthere, Sep 12, 2012.

All the equipment is out in the vineyards so unless it breaks my business comes to a halt with those folks.

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Reply by outthere, Sep 20, 2012.

The fruit is rolling in.

Robert Biale Black Chicken Zinfandel

 

Dirty and Rowdy Semillon

Got the first reported grape truck overturn this morning on Hwy 29 coming down Mt St Helena from Lake County.

Graton smells like harvest season.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 20, 2012.

What got spilled?  I'm hoping merlot, since I don't drink much Cali merlot (or really anyone else's), but Lake County?  Could be lots of things.  Jade Mountain used to source great Syrah from up there.

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Reply by outthere, Sep 21, 2012.

Not privy to whose fruit it was.

Lagier Meredith started picking this morning...

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Reply by outthere, Sep 27, 2012.

Walked a few vineyards with Mike Smith this afternoon doing fruit samples.

First was Sunchase Vineyard which is on the west slope of Sonoma Mountain overlooking Gaps Crown, Rohnert Park and the Petaluma Wind Gap all the way to the coast (on a clear day). Mike'swas one of the lone blocks still hanging fruit. He's not a member of the AFWE (anti-flavor wine elite) and believes in picking higher than 23 brix. Will it get there is a whole nother story.

Clone 828 Pinot Noir to be bottled under the Myriad label. Mike was showing how the back of the clusters displayed nice berries while the ones with direct sun contact were dimpled.

This is the 6th leaf, 3 harvest,  for this vineyard which was planted in 2006. The soil is rocky and the vines get stressed. The overall production is low but the quality of fruit is high.

This is a view looking NE towards Sonoma Mountain

Looking west towards the coast.

Next it was on to Gaps Crown. We sampled a few rows here and then Mike did some brix testing. The Gaps Crown fruit is clone 777 and 828.

This was a real pretty site. The vines were less stressed so the canopy was greener and healthier looking.

This is how a real pro does it. Just dump the juice out of a Ziplock onto the refractometer. ;-)

Next we made a quick stop at Sangiacomo Vineyard to look at some 777 Pinot and Chard.

This Chard is going to have a rough go of it getting ripe. Good looking berries but very acidic and green. They better pray the rain forecast for next week does not materialize or they will be having botrytis issues. That would be a shame

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 27, 2012.

So OT, do you think that this year the chardonnay down in Napa will be better?  My usual sense is it's too warm down there (Bell convinced me that Yountville's pinch is the exception), but the long cool season could benefit the acid levels while still attaining ripeness, where the Sangiacomo and the like are seeing too much fog. 

What's the prognosis on Cab?  Are we looking at classic, less fruit-bomb examples in Napa Valley this year? 

Mid-Bay is cool and breezy, with morning overcast, but I would expect that the Santa Cruz mountains are humming right along.  Again, hoping it doesn't rain for those last few crucial days some of the vines need.

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Reply by outthere, Sep 27, 2012.

I'm seeing people having problems getting their Chard ripe this year. It's still hanging everywhere I Iook. If the weather holds it won't be a problem but if we get rain they are screwed. The fog today didn't burn off till around 10am and the rows at Sangiacomo are planted east to west so they aren't getting a whole lot of sun either. Will be hit and miss. People will just have to have Chablis palates for 2012 Chard unless they buy oak bombs.

Some winemakers are calling 2012 a great Cab vintage in Napa.while others are worried that their 26-27 brix will not be realized. All depends on your winemaking style. EMH (Black Cat Cabernet) picked yesterday but they are a hillside vineyard that gets better heat. Forecast is for close to triple digits over the weekend in the warmer parts of the valley. May be just what many of them need to feel secure about ripeness.

Yields are huge this year with many growers scrambling to find a home for their extra fruit.



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