Since the Crush season last Fall, the wine-tending for all three vintages has been relatively non-existent aside from topping the wine, and racking them one time.
The 06 Syrah is still a little on the bitter side for my taste even though I treated it with powdered milk and Fermotan two times at the same dosage as reported on March 16, 2008, and an additional dosage of powered milk yesterday (May 22, 2008). According to Michael Richmond I should have been trying to add the chemistry all at once because I would have noticed the change within a few days (rather than adding them over several months). He also told me that if the maximum dosage didn’t do it that I should consider blending it with other vintages to mask the bitterness. I will simply let it age now until the last racking before bottling (scheduled for September).
The 07 Cabernet Sauvignon is so light in color it reminds me of the 05 vintage, despite the fact we let the must sit on the skins and additional 2 weeks beyond fermentation to try to absorb as much color as possible. I have decided that I am finished buying grapes from Alexander Valley Nursery in Zamora. All I can do at this point is let it age, keep it topped and hope it will be drinkable by the time it is ready to bottle.
I am happy to report that the 07 Merlot is nice. The color is good, the taste is good, but I still can’t get the subtle nuances from it that you would from a “great” vintage. In all three vintages the oak is not strong enough so I’ll let it age in the barrel longer than usual because my barrels are older and therefore considered “neutral”. I may not bottle this one until at least the early Winter of 09 (December 09 or January 2010).
The 05 Winetta released in 07, is down to 6 cases (out of the original 25). It’s gotten much better after aging in the bottle for these many months. It’s still not great wine, but only a handful of consumers have turned their noses up at it, while the majority keep asking for more.