David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery Winemaker's Diary

Week 44
October 29 to November 4, 2000 

Monday October 30

In the last several days I have tasted many barrels and have started to form an opinion about what wines I like. I am amazed at how much better these barrels taste after adding SO2 to the finished M/L wines. I love a challenge and this is the year for the most variables to mix into the 12 red wines we will ultimately blend into finished wine. Remember I must like my wines. If I don't feel it is a good wine, I will not release it. This year I still feel that the petite sirah's and the cabs are the best barrels while last year I thought the zins were the best. My most important challenge is to make a good wine out of my mourvedre grapes I purchased. I am completely sure now that I can accomplish that feat. I am also sure that the new sirah we will make will be a pleaser. 

Pat and I are gearing up for our pick-up party this coming weekend. We plan on serving polenta and sausage with many barrel samples of our 2000 wines. Of course we will also be watching a new rock video from Santana along with other past favorites. 

Thursday November 2

Monday, we were offered some first crop Cabernet from Phil Jones. We had quite a lot of rain (well over 2 inches) so most wineries have considered the harvest over. Most farmers have had a big crop. I have said before that we are the exception. Since there has been a big crop most wineries have received all the fruit they want. I have purchased some of Phil's Cab before and thought it to be fine. This cab was a good percentage of our 1998 Neighbors' Cuvee. When Phil offered me these grapes it was raining and I thought "oh no". But the sun came out and I sent Brendan over to check the sugar. If we selected fruit last Monday, we could have salvaged, by sorting, 22%. The grapes are free (except for the picking costs and Brendan's time to sort). Since there are several rows that were not picked the costs to harvest should only be $300 a ton (not as expensive as second crop, because the vines have not been picked as is the case with second crop). Gallo had taken almost all, but when the rains came in Gallo decided to close for the season. At the least we could use the wine to top off some of our barrels. The sun has been out since so we will do another test Monday and may be able to get 23%. 

Pat and I have been swamped with all the calls and E-mails regarding our pick-up party. We will be serving 7 barrel samples. I  also finished setting up all the barrels into the computer yesterday. I now know how many gallons of all varietals are in every individual barrel. I can now play with different combinations of barrels and see what interesting wines could be made. In all I now have 171 different barrels of red wine each containing 25 cases. We will lose approximately 8% from racking and evaporation which leaves about 3900 cases of wine. we are also hoping to bottle another 400 cases of Sauv Blanc. Here are the percentages of all red varietals: 
32% Zinfandel, 17% Cabernet, 13% Petite Sirah, 12% Cab Franc, 11% Carignan, 6% Syrah, 4% Mourvedre, 3% Barbera, 1% Merlot and less than 1% Petite Verdot and Malbec. Quite an interesting blend --- hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Maybe I should just make one wine instead of 11.


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