Friday, December 16, 2011

A partial explanation of bottle shock.

A variable slight reduction in aroma and light to moderate reduction in flavor caused by reaction of molecular S with remaining O2 dissolved in wine that occurs after bottling, and can be ameliorated by lowering dissolved 02 in wine to under 1 ppm before bottling, not adding large amounts of SO2 immediately prior to bottling, and not filtering. It's generally observed between 10 and 30 days after bottling. Effects not fully understood as perception is mainly subjective; it allegedly affects Pinot Noir more than other wines.

I went to Berkeley, not Davis. Somebody check with a 'real' winemaker!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


78% "Colossus of Rhones" aka Gill Vineyard.; 22% Secret Syrah (sorry)
17% alcohol by volume (yes, really). 111 cases bottled, $50/retail.

This clone 877 Syrah vineyard on the west side of Paso Robles was planted in 1998 and only yields 1-2 bottles per vine (aka tons/acre at 1,000 vines/acre). I instituted severe leaf thinning when I became the consultant last year, and delayed harvest until full flavor ripeness and seed lignification, which didn't occur until over 28 brix. Fear not, this is no flabby, sweet, baked raisin wine; the blackberry extract is fresh and extremely full and rich, and spices and oak emerge immediately, and the finish is very long without excess heat. Do NOT be ideo-enologically prejudiced against the high alcohol and youth; it shows fabulously and is at least my best red since the 2005 La Mort Du Roi (Elvis Died For Your Sins) "Hill of Graceland" Syrah. So far, opinions are rapturous from the handful of consumers, uber-winemakers, and unter-sommeliers that have tried it. But what do we know???

Band practice

Band practice