2006 Eaglepoint Ranch Syrah – Mendocino County
Went into barrel today. Really good dark color and showing a good nose. I used two different yeasts this year, both that bring out more floral smells, and it looks like it took in bin. It looks like we’ll be about 14% alcohol with good sound acidity again like 2005. I filled 5 full barrels, one new French Oak, two two+ year old French Oak, one once filled American Oak, and one twice filled American Oak. That should work out to about the equal of 25% new oak that worked so well in the 2005. We also have 32 gallons of toping wine or about 1/2 barrel. That should be about 130 cases of finished wine.
2006 Uvas Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – Santa Clara County.
This looks like a rock star so far. I changed up yeasts here too and went for a more open nose. It went into bin at 24.5 BRIX and 3.65 PH. That’s exactly perfect for me and should end up about 13.5% alcohol. The color is very dark this year. I didn’t do a cold soak this year, I thought that lead to color issues last year. It has an amazing fruit nose right now for a wine half way through fermentation. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, this may be the best wine we’ve made so far. I think we’ll be at 5 full barrels and I’m planning on two new French Oak, 1 one year old American Oak, and 2 two year old American Oak. Pretty heavy Oak, but I think this wine will handle it this year.
2006 Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon (with 5% Merlot)
Typical for the Santa Cruz Mountains this year this came in with sound BRIX (25.1) but low acidity (PH 4.0). We’re having to correct the acidity as it ferments, that’s just to low for what we are after. It’s got a SCM nose right now, a mix of fruit and minty flavors. The challenge now is to get the acidty fixed and lock in the color. It was slow to start, almost 24 hours more than the Uvas Creek to start fermenting. We’ll watch this like a hawk. It’s got all the stuff to make a great wine, but we’ll have to stay on top of it. The Eaglepoint and Uvas Creek are making themselves, but this one will require sound winemaking. This will get about 1/3 new wood I think.
We still have Zinfandel to go. I’m hoping we get enough fruit for a full barrel, and will pick that Sunday and make it at Chaine D’ Or.