The adage that "every vintage is different" was perhaps especially true in 2014. The year brought a number of variables in weather that shaped harvest expectations. While a very strong year in many respects, it seemed hard to get a read on ripeness; one aspect might seem good while others seemed to need more time. This seemed pretty widespread- it was like everything was "almost" there, but not "quite" there. But at the same time, things seemed closer in ripeness relative to each other than normal.
Normally, we bring in one or two small pieces from a couple vineyards that tend to ripen earlier, wait a bit, and then fruit comes in from various places at a nice orderly pace. It's usually 8-10 weeks to harvest all the grapes, with fermentations extending that further. The harvest started as I expected- we picked two small pieces in late August, and waited for other things to slowly come in.
And then all hell broke loose; instead of another 8 or 9 weeks, everything came in within a 19 day window. Everything. Every. Last. Grape. 19 days. The entire winery was packed- wall to wall with fermenting grapes; it was stacked so tight we had to move things out in the morning just to maneuver the forklift. I've never seen anything like it, neither had anyone else.
If I described it as "crazy, insane, hectic", I'd be understating it. And yet there was joy to it, the fruit was dazzling and delicious, and had real spirit and confidence. We had a great harvest crew, and there was serenity at the core of the insanity. We worked hard, slept little (I may be getting too old for this!), and had as much fun as I'd had in a very long time.
The harvest was truly "fast and furious". But standing each day in the midst of a building crammed full of fermenting Pinot, inhaling the pitched aromatics of all these different fermenting delicious gifts of nature at once- those are the moments.
Nature's power is unrelenting, it's the thing that shapes wines most. The wines are wonderful- the thing that made them special when they were made, that spirit they showed, is still very much there. I really don't know if wines can "smile", but to me, these seem pretty happy with whom they are. Kind of how I've felt as I've opened them up. I hope you enjoy them
This is the first "official" release of wines from 2014 (a couple tiny production wines already went to our wine club). All are drinking beautifully and just in time for the summer and all the great Pinot and food combinations that you'll be serving.