Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Making our own wine: update 3

In February, our group was invited for a barrel tasting of our wine at Crushpad. Unfortunately, I could not come, not feeling very well that day, and missed the tasting. So, earlier this month, I decided to pay a visit to Crushpad myself. Our winemaker Scott was waiting for me and took me to the barrel area. Several barrels have been made with the Clary Ranch Syrah and I was able to taste most of them. First, I tasted our wine. At this point, it has been aging in barrel for nearly 6 months and tasted very different from the fresh juice that we pressed last November. It had a lot of spicy and peppery flavors, a firm backbone and some good acidity. A promising wine indeed, very much in line with what we wanted to achieve. Then Scott had me try another Clary Ranch Syrah, this one being aged in a neutral older barrel which should have little influence on the taste of the wine. This wine was sweeter with more upfront fruits but not as elegant and balanced than ours. I also tasted a wine aged in a new barrel. This one had a lot of vanilla and caramel flavors and at this point, the strong oak aromas dominated the fruit. The last wine I tasted had been partially destemmed. I noticed stronger, fuller flavors in the wine, coming I guess from the stems, and found it very promising too.

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