Harvest began about 2 weeks early this year. Pinot Noir from Weir Vineyard came in on September 9th. The fruit looked and tasted great, though yields were a little lower than last year. Our grapes from Marin were close behind. The Pommard Clone from Chileno Valley Vineyard arrived on September 12th, and the remaining Clone 828 from Chileno Valley Vineyard and 4.5 tons from Azaya Ranch on the 16th. This is our first year with the Pommard Clone For larger wineries, 5 tons is a drop in the bucket. For us, it made for a long day. We had friends and family helping sort the grapes from 10 in the morning until 10 at night. The Pinot fermentations were finished up and in barrel by October 2nd. The wines are now resting happily in the barrel going through malo-lactic fermentation.
We'll have some 2014 white and pink wines as well. The Rose is coming along nicely. The color is a little deeper than last year, though the flavors and acidity are very similar. It's super dry, and full of citrus and berry flavors already. With Pinot yields down, we will have a little less Rose this year. The 2014 Rose (and the 2013 Marin Pinot) will be released in the early Spring.
What About A White?
We made our first Brooks Note Chardonnay this year as well. It's from a vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. It was our last fruit to come in this year, with a long, cool growing season. It will be a style closer to the old world than the new. The Chardonnay is fermenting in neutral oak barrels. We'll let it go through a little bit of malo-lactic fermentation, but not finish all the way. Expect bright fruit flavors, maybe some apricot, nice acidity, and no buttery, toasty oak flavor.