2016 vs. 2017?
I have been on the road this spring with visits already to Alabama, North Carolina, and Nashville. Visits to Ohio, Detroit, Wisconsin, Boston, and New York happen in March and April. As the dates get closer, if there are events open to the public, we will post on social media, so be on the look out.
During my travels I have been asked how the 2017 vintage compares to the 2016. I’ve spent a lot of time tasting wine from both vintages and in conclusion, they truly showcase each of the vintages. Let me explain what I mean. In 2016 I found working with my vineyards from Santa Barbara all the way to Amador, everything fell in place. We had a nice long growing season without too many difficulties. Hang time and low yields provided us with wines having great concentration of aromatics, flavors and intense colors. These wines are delicious for the near term and for aging.
The 2017 vintage was a vintage of true craziness. Initially the vintage started out with perfect development, but as time went on you could tell that the crop load was going to be heavier than anticipated, so we started trying to balance the vine. Even with early crop management, we found clusters to be heavier than 2016. When this happens, we start looking to see if we can work with each individual cluster, to make sure we get the concentration, balance and intense components that we look for. I felt we had everything under control, but the weather started getting hotter than expected and we upped the pace to bring the fruit faster to get more control. In the end the 2017 vintage is a vintage that shows the strength of each vineyard and explores different profiles than the 2016. There is a purity and depth to the 2017 vintage that I find exciting. In conclusion I think the 2017 is also a wine for early enjoyment, but because of the structure and minerality expression, I would say they will have a great aging ability. The choice of course is yours. As we say, drink it now, we’ll make more!”