Random Thoughts of the Winemaker (update 12/14/2012)

Winemaker Paul Bush

Sometimes, there is just not enough time to write a whole blog, fill it with pictures, and get it out to you. This page is for those random thoughts that I come across while tending the fields, blending the wines, or just having fun.


The labels for our first ever, estate grown sparkling wine have just been approved for printing! Looking forward to having the first bottle just in time for the new year!






It always amazes me that as soon as the grapes are crushed and in the tank, we start trying to pin down how good a vintage it is. In some ways it’s not unlike seeing a new-born baby and trying to figure out what degree she will attain at university.

But not unlike parents (who do have their own set of expectations for their children), we in the wine industry do, very early on, start to pick out characteristics in the young wines that we think make a solid foundation for the future.

With this in mind, I’ve tasted several of these young pups from the 2012 vintage. The 2012 Barbera #2 has an incredible palate, soft yet balanced with great cherry fruit and a hint of spice. But it’s still going through its malolactic fermentation (a bit like the “terrible-two’s”). The 2012 Zinfandel #6 with its big palate and fresh fruit characters is going to turn some heads, as long as the ML fermentation finishes.

The 2012 Zinfandel #1 is bold and ripe, with dried blackberry notes in the nose. Although it’s still clicking along, finishing its primary fermentation, I really like the mouthfeel of this wine. The 2012 Malbec #2 is luscious and elegant at the same time, with great acidity. The wine is through malolactic and will definitely develop into a wine of distinction!

And lastly, the 2012 Dry Riesling, bone dry with bracing acidity. However, the palate is rich, even with the slight tartness (not bitterness, which is something entirely different) on the finish.

The point of all this is…I’m having fun tasting through young wines from a very good vintage. To a great degree, I’m not risking anything by talking up the wines. Almost anyone could make a good wine out of 2012. “How good,” you ask? That’s the question now. But to be honest, I can’t answer that for some months down the road, and even then I reserve the right to change my mind.

Heck, come next week I’ll be talking up a whole new set of wines! But isn’t that my job to taste and taste and taste (and believe!).

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