I like what I do. And to say that our most recent blending trials at the winery have been anything less than really, really fun would be irresponsible. A good friend (who is my sounding board for blending trials) and I have been tasting through the eight different lots of 2009 Boushey Vineyard Syrah in an effort to finalize the blend. It was during these trials where we discovered a few bbls (barrels) with mind-blowing aromatics and density of flavors that were just begging to be blended on their own. Rest assured, the rest of the bbls still meet the high standards of our previous Boushey Syrah wines with wonderful aromatics, depth of flavor and a silky palate to match. But this is why we make small lots of wine: so we are able to identify and isolate what’s going on in each barrel and highlight those that stand out from the rest and in turn, offer you something truly unique. As we don’t yet have an official name for this wine to distinguish it from what we’ve done in the past with our Boushey Syrah, we’ve decided to make it easy and just call it ’12.06 to Liestal’.
We start by going through each bbl and noting the pros and cons of each one: great Syrah nose and palate, but missing some finish; not a lot of aroma, but has flavor and a finish that just won’t end. You get the picture. In this process, we identified two 350L bbls (a standard one is 225L) each of a different clone, as well as two 225L bbls that seriously kicked ass. Now, depending on what that final blend looks like we may blend in a bbl from the 174 clone. You’ll find out sometime after I know. It’ll also be after Ali and I raise a glass to toast yet another vintage making it to bottle and to making something delicious for your empty glass.
Our blending trials continued as we tasted through our first Pinot Noir bbls from the 2009 harvest. The fruit comes from the Lachini Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains Appellation of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. From the beginning, this wine has caused me a fair amount of stress. As you may, or may not know, Pinot Noir can be a very fickle beast and it is very unforgiving. That said, the main thing that has caused me much stress is the color of the wine. It has this beautiful, red, transparent color but it is nothing like our inky, purple/black Boushey Syrah and I have to keep reminding myself that this is the way it’s supposed to be. The wine is beautiful. The aromatics stunning and the palate is full of spice and slightly dried strawberry and cedar. I’m blown away by this wine and can’t wait to get it bottled and resting deep in our cellars awaiting an early Fall 2011 release.
That’s all for now. Bottling of these wines is scheduled for next week, so they’ll have plenty of time to relax in bottle prior to their release. And there is a good chance we’ll have a few magnums. We’ll keep you in the loop and post some images of bottling day.
Until next time…