Sunday, March 2, 2008

Smells like "Fruit Loops" a new wine descriptor

After tasting through the new vintage, I am pleased to report that the vintage is above average, here are a few brief notes on some of the barrel lots and how they are progressing.

Verdelho barrel aged: Nice typical notes of Honeysuckle with a nice round finish.

Lodi Tempranillo: Ripe berry fruit with hints of oak.

Paso Tempranillo (Huerohuero): Delicate fruit aromas with a Pinot Noir elegance.

Paso Tempranillo (Ohana): Deep color, dark fruit, firm tannins and complexity.

Grenache/Carignane co-ferment: These are the wines that make up our "Regal de la Vinya" blend. There were two lots as an experiment, The first was fermented in 300L headless barrels and the second was tank fermented and pumped over twice a day. The barrel ferment showed delicate and complex aromas and the tank ferment was richer with a higher degree of extraction and color with more aggressive tannins.

Touriga Lodi: Here it is the new descriptor, usually this wine has a very upfront aroma of curry, but this vintage all I could come up with is "Fruit Loops", if you open a box and smell, there it is. Good color and structure go along with the fruit component.

Touriga Paso: There are actually two lots of Paso Touriga; young block and old block. The Young block was fermented in a 1.5 ton bin and has great color, structure and aromas, more to darker fruit that the Lodi. The Old block was fermented in barrels with the heads removed, this wine shows its strenght by being able to be exposed to 100% new oak for fermentation and still be full of fruit with only minor oak nuances. Also this is developing a nice depth and complexity that I hope will continue to evolve.

Tannat Paso: A monstrous wine with a good ripeness and great extraction, the color is dark and the tannins are firm and gripping.

Port Lodi: The move to foot stomping of the component wines is definitely showing in the wines. the extraction is tremendous, with great color, fruit, tannins and the right balance of sweetness.

Port Paso: There is finally enough fruit available to make a Paso Robles appellation port. A blend of Tempranillo, Touriga and Souzao. It is nice to compare and contrast to the Lodi fruit. The fruit components are riper and closer to stone fruits and red fruits in the wine from Lodi, while the Paso wine is to the darker end of the spectrum, both visually and aromatically.

I try and not judge vintages until a few months have passed and the wine are starting to relax in their ageing vessels. I can now say that there is some nice material out there for creating the 2007 wines.

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