Sunday, May 25, 2008

There were 4 barrels

...and now there are 99 cases...
We've done quite a few bottlings in our time, but pulling out our finest four barrels for our first release felt like escorting our child out of our home for the first time heading to college. We put the final blend together about 3 months ago and back to barrel with 2 of the 4 barrels our new french Damy oak barrels as Craig, our winemaker recommended. We trusted the bottling to Harry, the owner of Mobile Wine Lines. He's bottled for me beginning back in 1999, but this was all the more special...100 cases of our greatest effort (actually 99 cases). Now Jon & I will handle each bottle one more time to put the label, cap and neck ring on each by hand. Yeah, we really do love this!
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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Knowing the Vineyard

Gary Patterson knows every vine and every row of his vineyards as well as our winemaker, Craig Becker knows every drop of wine he's ever made. The first frost hit Lodi and other outlying areas so we were worried about the vineyards we're pulling from. Jon visited Ron Silva's Mourvedre vineyard in the northern appellation, and both Markus Bokisch in Clements Hills' Belle Coline vineyard and Al Bechthold's Cinsault vineyard to the west were spared.
Jon and I like walking the vineyards together, discussing anything & everything about our wines. This is one of those times at the Belle Coline vineyard in Clements Hills. We agree with our winemaker that the Petite Sirah from this hilltop location is an integral component for the Panthos blends. We're getting to know both the sunrises and sunsets pretty well from this hill.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bottling Preparations

Bottling is nothing new to Jon & I since we've been doing this for years before at my prior winery, and in much larger quantities. This is different, though. The first release of any new wine is always filled with anticipation, but to Jon & I, this is not any wine. From the moment Panthos was conceptually born in our minds over two years ago, we've settled for nothing less than perfection, beggining with the growers to our winemaker, even down to the glass designed to hold our wines. Jon has worked especially close with 6-West Designs on our package design bringing our purpose into focus for everyone lucky enough to try this wine. And in three short weeks, it will be bottled and waiting for the final be uncorked.
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Saturday, May 3, 2008

2005 McPrice Myers Santa Barbara County L’Ange Rouge Grenache

Our favorite California Grenache so far! Deep garnet color; fig, plum, Concord grape juice, cherry, bacon and Eucalyptus aromas with a slight white pepper burn; full bodied and changing from Marionberry syrup from Murphys and strawberry to steely pencil lead tannins, slice of blood orange and bacon, finishing with licorice, cinnamon oil and cherry pie, almost like spicy Big Red Gum on the finish. All this comes into nice balance with fruit holding up to the 15.4% alcohol. This is very complex and changing, unfolding like a movie. Drink it slowly over a couple of hours to see its rapid development. The fruit and spiciness reminds us of a nice 1997 Justin Isosceles. $30; 5 out of 5 stars!