Monday, July 23, 2018

2015 Pra Vinera Reserve Cab - WOW!

I can't recall who gave this to me, but WOW! If you ever wanted to find out what a true Cab Sauv flavor is (it's black currants), this wine has it in spades. So smooth. Liquid velvet. The sensation just rolls. Perfect body. Perfect balance. THIS is how it's done.

Napa at its best. Wow.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The bottling season is upon us

We've bottled almost all the 2017 Epona wines now, starting with the whites and roses, and finishing with the reds and pourt wines. ("Pourt" is a common-law trademark owned by Epona, LLC, and Kenton Erwin of Woodland WA. I invented that made-up word, using a "u" to keep it from upsetting our friends the Portuguese of the Douro area.)

Everything has a season (turn, turn, turn). The mowing season is winding down (we don't irrigate our field grass--why would we? why would you?). The watering season has not quite appeared in earnest. This is the bottling season, to make room in tanks and other liquid-holding vessels for the coming Fall crop of winegrape juice. At this time, you and your racking wand are on very intimate terms. And, once corked, the work is not nearly over: You bottle, and adjust the fill levels in the bottles. You cork the wines. You rinse and dry the bottles. Then, for three days, the bottles sit upright, to bleed out the compressed air caused by pushing the corks in. Then they are capsuled and labeled, and laid down to age (for a short or a long while, depending upon the wine's character and the strength of your resale market).

In the photo (credit to Merry Edwards Winery), this is how they, and we, and countless others, do it. The Italian floor corker is a key component for any small-to-medium sized winery.

There was a guild of winemakers in the Middle Ages, just like the guilds of blacksmiths, millers, coopers, etc. In Italy the winemakers are called "Vinari," and I have a little terra cotta plaque with "Vinari" and a wine bottle on it (from northern Italy), to remind me of the long history of my craft, and how much others know and knew, compared to me.

Winemaking is a great way to keep in touch with your humble side, to sharpen up on Murphy's Law, and to, just sometimes, just occasionally, maybe impress yourself with what you can do with some great fruit and a couple of years. Sometimes ;)