Each year this happens, I start out with grand ambitions of two blog posts per month and it gets derailed! One day that goal will be achieved.
It has been nearly a month an a half since my last update which is far too long. So much has happened since late April!! First of the two new spring releases, the 2016 Dry Riesling and 2015 Pinot Noir, have officially made their way out into the world. The 2015 Merlot, Single Barrel and Cabernet are getting prepped for bottling this August. I have been bouncing between California, Missouri and New York for the last two months. SO MANY THINGS!
So let’s take it from the top.
The spring bottling is the first round of “cellar clean up” to make room for the upcoming harvest. It is quickly followed by a racking or quality control check on the 2016 red wines to make sure that they aren’t getting to angsty during their first 8 months in barrel. Thus far the 2016 Merlot and Pinot have settled in to a very nice groove. There is a quite a long way to go for each of course but if they are holding a good course early on it is a good sign. So far the 2016 reds are tasting like they are going to be big and bold but with some silky-ness about them as well. The oak extraction is happening pretty quick which is something we will keep an eye on. As long as it integrates nicely there won’t be any major adjustments. At this point we are SUPER pleased with how 2016 is shaping up. It is just a matter of waiting another year or two before they are ready to rock n’ roll.
As we get further into the summer we are getting into harvest-prep mode. With the spring bottling and release complete it is also time to switch gears to the pre-harvest bottling to make space in the cellar. For MTGA that means checking up on the 2015 Merlot, Single Barrel and Cabernet Sauvignon to dial in the potential blends. This is the rough part of the job of course, having to taste through all of the different lots to ensure they are where we want them to be. Once we have a good idea of how these wines are going to be bottled up it is smooth sailing until the August bottling run. While bottling continues to be the most stressful wine-industry activity it is always exciting to get a final blend into bottle and ready for release.
After the August bottling we will be a few short weeks away from harvest! It is hard to believe that it is just around the corner once again. Until then we are guiding the growing season as best we can and hoping that Mother Nature doesn’t throw us too many curve balls. Aside from one random hail storm and a pretty epic heatwave… so far so good!