Between January 18th and 19th a whole bunch of stuff got knocked out in the cellar for MTGA. November and December usually give me enough time to decompress after harvest is over so by the time January comes back around I am ready to rock and roll. The two days were dedicated to checking up on the 2013 Merlot, racking the 2014 Merlot and battening down the hatches on the 2014 Riesling.
The 2013 Merlot has started to pull together though it will still be about 8 to 9 months (or more) before I pull the trigger on bottling. All of the components are still fighting for attention a bit. You can definitely taste the fruit and oak, feel the structure and see how it is coming together but it just needs that extra time for everything to really meld together. The only exception to this is that one “reserve” new French oak barrel I have set aside; which is in its own realm. That one barrel is still a little edgier but it continues to be the awesome R&D division of MTGA.
The wine that make up the 2014 vintage came down to six barrels total after everything was all said and done. Like the vintage before it there is one that did stand out and as a result has found its way into a new French oak barrel as well. This first racking was meant to remove the heavy lees from the barrels, basically it is a rough filtering process, and get the wine just a little bit of air. At this point I couldn’t really be happier with how the 2014 Merlot is starting out. It is in its infancy of course but the 2014 vintage definitely follows in the footsteps of those that came before it.
Last but not least the 2014 Riesling is into the home stretch. It is as dry, crisp and refreshing as the 2013 and will just patiently await the bottling day later this spring/early summer. I did want to try to increase the production this year but settled for what will be another 40-50 case run for this vintage. Just like last year it will be nice to have something chilled down in the fridge during the summer and fall months.
Looking back at that weekend of work it was nice to make so much progress and keep pushing MTGA into the new year. 2015 has officially started off on the right foot! Time to make sure it continues that way.