Posted by Brian Loring
As I mentioned in my last post, we’re trying our hand at making a Cabernet/Mourvèdre blend this year. Given the craziness of the 2008 harvest, it shouldn’t be surprising that we’ve run into problems with our Mourvèdre. All I can say is that we’re extremely lucky to be working with a grower like Erich Russell, or our hopes of getting any Mourvèdre this year would have probably been pretty slim.
Erich has a shared love of the wines from Bodegas El Nido, so he’s been as excited about our side project as we have. Erich got us some amazing Cabernet Sauvignon from his super steep, limestone hillside. The Cab had the tiniest berries I’ve ever seen—and a brutally low yield of about one-third of a ton per acre. Super intense stuff.
The issue with the Mourvèdre has been trying to get it ripe. The weather has been uncharacteristically cool in the Paso Robles area this year, and as a result most growers are reporting that their Mourvèdre isn’t ripening. Erich has been trying to get us super ripe fruit from the start, so he’d already thinned his crop way back early on. Sadly, the Paso area got hit with an unusual late season frost a week or so ago, and in most vineyards, any remaining canopy (leaves) was destroyed.
Erich was “lucky” in that only half the Mourvèdre block got hit. He graciously picked that half for himself to make a rosé. And since the remaining half of the block was still behind in ripening, he dropped even more fruit. I think he’s at one cluster per vine right now. Erich’s doing everything he can to get us some killer fruit, despite the dollar cost to him. Thankfully the weather looks to be co-operating (finally), and we should have at least 10 days of nice, warm weather. Both Erich and I have our fingers crossed.
It’s this type of dedication to quality that sets some growers apart. We’ve been extremely lucky to have hooked up with people like Erich Russell. He and our other great growers make us look good.
Richard Hirth — Michigan — October 24, 2008 7:06pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 24, 2008 9:43pm ET
Paul Gordon — Santa Clara — October 25, 2008 1:00am ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 28, 2008 8:58pm ET
Brian Peters — Broomfield, CO — November 1, 2008 2:26pm ET
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