The cellar is alive again! 27 gallons of California juice is now starting its magical journey toward becoming the “2008 vintage.” It joins last year’s wine that is awaiting bottling as it ages with French oak (using these really cool infusion spirals made by a wine barrel maker).
27 gallons will make about 10 cases (120 bottles) of finished wine. Vintage 2007 started with 22 gallons and, after multiple “rackings” is down to about 19 gallons of finished wine. I decided to increase the cellar’s output this year because, well, the 2007 tastes pretty good! Since I learned a lot along the way, I’m hopeful that 2008 will be even better.
While I have no illusions of creating world-class wine to compete with the Pegau Chateneuf du Pape or Saxum Broken Stones and James Berry laying in the cellar racks, I expect that it will be pretty good “table wine.” I’ll probably be able to convince friends to give it a taste, too!
Currently undergoing primary fermentation are:
- 8 gallons Cabernet Sauvignon
- 7 gallons Merlot
- 6 gallons Cabernet Franc
- 6 gallons Pinot Noir
The Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc will eventually become both single varietal wines AND be blended into my own custom “Bordeaux style” wine. That will be a fun experiment! I’m hoping that by following the blending traditions of Old World winemakers I will create a finished wine that is better than its individual components. An “artist’s palate” approach.
The Pinot Noir will fly solo in the end.
So here we go again! The cellar (and whole basement) is starting to smell a bit like a winery. I prefer “yeasty” to describe the aroma rather than “stinky.” My spouse my disagree. But it does take me back to the fermentation tanks and barrel rooms of Zaca Mesa and Firestone Vineyards that I first visited as a teenager. My love of wine that started so many years ago is tied to these smells. It’s a fun adventure to recreate some of that in my own home!
Wish me luck and make your plans now to come to the 2008 release party in about two years!