David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 32
August 6, 2000 to August 12, 2000 

Sunday, August 6, 2000 

Well The Raiders are back to their old ways so to soothe my depression I opened up a bottle of our 1996 Zinfandel on Saturday night. It sure perked me up and enthralled the 30 people that came in today. Don't get me wrong!! As many of you know I don't like saying good things about my wines. I am just saying it was fun to pour the 1999 zin today compared to the 1996. As I have said before many of the new customers coming in here have not had older wines. (One yesterday asked as his first question: Do you have a wine that is more sweet----I love this and I have a knack to be gracious and answer the question directly and not condescending. I told him to consider an inexpensive Chardonnay. He did stick around for about another 45 min and asked some good questions that I enjoyed answering). The 1996 had a much better bouquet and of course had much more complexity. The fruit was still there and even a good deal of spiciness. 

Last Friday I sent Brendan out to do a sugar test on the Sauv Blanc and 50 vines of Chardonnay that we are planning to blend into the final S.B. wine. I was not surprised when he came back with 18% on both samples. At this time of the year, we could go up as much as 2% a week. That means we could be harvesting in less than 3 weeks. Brendan will be back Wed. and we will do a more thorough sample. We're not ready for harvest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Monday, August 7, 2000 

Some of you know I have been a big fan of Limerick Lane Zinfandel since 1993 when I started tasting other wines out of Dry Creek Valley. Before 1993 I could only afford my amateur wines or a few Dry Creek Producers who would sell to me at discount prices. I have told many of you that Limerick Lane 1998 Zin was worth waiting for and might be the best 1998 Zin. I finally had a chance to try a bottle after there recent release and was not disappointed. Wow what fruit!!! My 1998 Estate Zin could not stand up to it. I was pleasantly surprised that with a blind tasting that our 1998 Neighbors' Zin held up well. And as usual Pat tried to fool me with a comparison with our newly bottled 1999 Zin. 1999 is a great year. Even at this early stage I was confused (I am easily confused with blind tastings). Our 1999 Zin appeared surprisingly smooth at this stage and thus I had it reversed with the Limerick Lane. I plan on trying a number of 1998 Zins in the next few weeks, but I am reluctant to divulge if I am not thrilled with another wineries effort in an off year.  But I am not reluctant to say that I am still not happy with the way our 1998 Estate Zin is showing. It is a good wine, but did not show up well tonight compared to the 1998 Limerick Lane, our 1998 Neighbors' Zin, 1999 Zin and 1999 Cab Franc. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2000 

I'm tasting tonight our 1999 Estate Cuvee and Block 4. I tried them blind as usual and for a change had no trouble picking them out. The Estate cuvee is much more tart or as Pat says spicey. It is a great food wine. The Block 4 is to my taste (not Pat---she felt it was young and less smooth) is more round and concentrated. I am sure the 15.3 Alc has some influence on my head. I really enjoyed them both. 

Tomorrow Brendan comes to help me evaluate new sugar tests. I can't wait. 

Thursday, August 10, 2000

Well, Brendan went out yesterday and checked a few sections of our white grapes. They were more advanced than I had feared. The Chard section that read 18% last Friday was up to 20.2%. We checked two other areas of S.B.that usually are a week behind and they read about 18.5%. The section of S.B. from last week only supplies us with 1000 lbs so we will not check it again. We are prepared to ferment 3 tons in two weeks which will be about 15% Chard. 

Our 375 ml bottles of 1999 S.B. and 1998 Neighbors' Zin wines are selling well at Wine Club in S.F. As I have said before we are no longer using a distributor partly because he thought it would not be inappropriate to sell to a discounter such as Wine Club. This relationship with Wine Club may be the best for all of us. We can sell are wine for more to Wine Club since our distributor is not getting his cut and any one buying from Wine Club will be able to pay less than before, because Wine Club marks up the least of everyone. 



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