As most of you will know from getting my emails, the 2013 Verdejo is already in the bottle - it went from grape to glass in five weeks, and another three weeks have passed since then; local winemakers with more experience than I (and this is my thirtieth harvest in California) have pretended to be impressed - they might not be, if they knew how much wine I lost in hurrying it along. In the meantime, I've also picked Viognier, Tempranillo, Tannat, an utterly fantastic Pinot Noir, Zinfandel (two clones) and Vermentino; all but the last two have finished fermenting. The Zinfandel 'stuck' at a far higher sugar than I've ever experienced, about 5 brix, leaving me with three options: attempt a referment with nutrients and an allegedly stronger yeast, blend with another wine in such a ratio as to almost guarantee refermentation to dry, or make a port.
Of course I'll do all three - I have three barrels to play with, after all!
The Vermentino isn't finished because it was picked recently; it's foaming along very nicely, with some beautiful exotic aromas. In about five hours, the Syrah 877 pick starts at Gill Vineyard; this is the wine that has produced the Colossus. Because we grafted over some of the miscreant Grenache to Alicante Bouschet last year, with the right blend I can produce, bottle and label another 'La Mort Du Roi' aka Dead Elvis wine (elvisdiedforyoursins.com)- as long as nothing changes on the label except the alcohol and the vintage, it need not be resubmitted to the Feds. And there's no sense taking that chance that some bureaucrat will make sense of the label, if indeed it makes sense to anyone but me. For that matter, it seems that Verdejo is not an 'approved variety' for American wine, notwithstanding that I am the third producer in California (but the only coastal one) the other wineries/growers having legally called it White Table Wine on the label and claimed that Verdejo was a 'fanciful name'. As the Chateau d'Abalone label was approved as a varietal Verdejo last year, this means I can't change anything but the vintage and alcohol without exposing myself to a considerable delay, or worse; a shame, as I would like to vineyard designate (Twin Coyote Vineyard).