Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bud Break Arrives

This morning I decided to take a walk through the Belle Colline vineyard to see how the different varietals were timing this year's bud break. This is the Syrah 470 clone from the lower block, the same block that's in our first release and already made it into our second release.

On the upper block near the top of the hill of Belle Colline is the Petite Sirah vineyard. The buds are smaller than the Syrah 470 - thumb-nail size and smaller.

About 12 miles west of the rolling hills of Belle Colline on the valley floor is Larry Mettler's Petite Sirah vineyard. We plan on working with Larry's Petite Syrah in this 2008 harvest to see if it can be a part of the Panthos program. The difference in this vineyards' earlier bud break is obvious to the eye.
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Saturday, March 29, 2008

2005 Twisted Oak *%&@! Calaveras County

Strawberry cola, toasted oak spice, pickle juice, Pixiestix, plum aromas; full bodied with jammy plum, sweet gerkins, toasted oak and rich blueberry with a bittersweet chocolate finish; a lack of elegance. 51%-MO,33%-SY,16%-GR. $24; 3 out of 5 stars.

Friday, March 28, 2008

2005 Beckmen Santa Ynez Valley Cuvee Le Bec

Mushroom, cherry, coffee, chocolate, smoky wet toasted wood; medium bodied with nice balance of oak to cherry Jolly Rancher, tobacco/leather pepper finish. 53%-GR, 34%-SY, 8%-MO, 5%-Counoise. $14; 3 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

2005 Saxon Brown Syrah Sonoma Valley Parmelee-Hill, Owl Box

Nice oak, espresso, black fruit aromas; rich with gripping jammy blackberry and spices, nice complexity with smoky oak and tobacco flavors; a big wine at 14.5% alc.; 220 cases; $33; 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, March 21, 2008

Key Ingredients

Jon & I have one of our great mornings preparing the harvest of Gary Paterson's Syrah from his La Roza vineyard. Gary manages over 2,100 acres, but focuses a great deal of attention on just 10 rows that he set aside for Panthos. La Roza sits in the northeast corner of the Lodi Appellation.

Our winemaker, Craig Becker mulls over the '06 & '07 lots. Making the best Rhone blend is a passion of Craigs, and today his eyes lit up, especially after tasting the '07 Mourvedre from Silvaspoons Vineyards.

Jon and Molly decided to sample some of our barrels with their good friends...looks like the mark of approval.
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Crushing Belle Colline Petite Sirah

Jon and I just received the Petite Sirah from Markus Bokisch's Belle Colline vineyard and are sooo happy with the flavors!

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

2005 Core Mourvédre Mister Moreved Cuyama Valley Santa Barbara County

A very exciting wine! Cloudy dark raspberry cream color; dirt, Eucalyptus, menthol, garlic, raisins, apricots in the hot sun, butterscotch, vanilla, rose and geranium aromas; full-bodied with dusty, almost powdery tannins, Pixie Stick raspberry, lavender, bell pepper, bush, burnt toast, plastic container in the heat, rose, tomato, geranium and licorice flavors with a floral finish. Definitely improved after being opened overnight. Next day sharpness was more rounded and less overbearing. 82%-MO, 18%-GR. $40; 4 out of 5 stars.