Friday, October 1, 2010

Cerro Prieto at Sunset's Savor winepouring event.

Well, it has been a week since last blog, when we were tearing our hair out waiting for the Paso Robles Westside boutique vineyard red wine grapes to ripen. Day after the post, we got hit with an incredible run of not Indian summer, but of Houston- hot, insufferably humid weather. I took a brix reading on our Pinot Noir a week ago, and by this Tuesday it had gone from a stuck 21 Brix to 24.5, with pH(desired 3.4-3.6) at 3.5 and TA(total acidity desired .6 to .8) at .8 on the dot. Flavors came in next day, with a delightful light cherry, some delicate strawberry, and a hint of blueberry. It has been since 2004 when we last made our own Pinot, and we have sold those grapes ever since. The 2004 Pinot we barrelled and then laid down until 2009, when we began drinking it. Truly amazing how good an old Pinot can be, and we just drank the living daylights out of it. Can't really afford to lay down our wines that long anymore, but they can do special things if of low yield and made with loving care.

Anyway we finally harvested our Pinot on Tues, 3 days ago, and it is stellar. I look for it to be of our 2004 caliber. Also took our first harvest of Sauv Blanc, and it went from 21.5 Brix to 25 Brix in 4 days. Wow. It was, however, hotter than Hades, and we had 6 days in the 103 range and 2 days at 108. We were really glad to have taken both cold weather grapes off before that heat spell took over. Now we are awaiting flavors to come in  the best Syrah we have ever had, but have to be careful to titrate Brix with pH and TA. Right now flavors are coming in way below where we had to wait last yr, at 27.5 Brix. Right now at 24.5, flavors are beginning to show, with plum the easiest to detect. That means we will be picking syrah soon. Merlot and Cab, both stuck at 21 Brix for 2-3 weeks, took off during the heat spell, but when we go over 105 degrees, we add 1-3 gallons of water to each vine. We are in a good range for ripening now, something I thought wasn't going to happen one measly week ago.

On the winery front, Cerro Prieto is pouring at the Sunset Savor event at Santa Margarita Ranch, just 12 miles south of Paso. They have spent some $1.4 million on this extravaganza, with everything from abalone farm tours, live bands, cooking demonstrations, to wine and food pairing, to farming displays in a 2 acre garden, to just plan wine tasting at one of several hundred wineries from Monterey County to Ventura County. It is a shebango not to miss, and if you want to come, call 805 438- 5200 for ticket availability. The setup is something I have never witnessed before, and we at Cerro Prieto are fiercely proud to be part of it. The weather is going to have to cooperate tho, or there is going to be mighty little red wine pouring with high 90s and lots of humidity. We are hoping for a slight cooling.

That's it from the nite before the big Sunset production, in cooperation with the SLO visitors and convention bureau. Hope to see you there, and if you do come, please come by for a Cerro Prieto wine tasting. Note: don't be fooled by the miniscule tents we are pouring from. Two wineries share a 7 foot by 8 foot tent, each with a tiny serving table that accomodates one person, two at most. Good news is the wines are worth waiting for, and the multiple restaurants next door are all excellent. Wine and food pairing. How could you beat that?

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