Today is the last day of harvest this year for Flying Trout and TERO Estates and it has been short, late and cold.
So what does this mean you ask? It means we are all going to be a bunch of expensive dates come two or three years from now. The wines are all coming in at low sugar levels due to the lack of heat and because sugar turns into alcohol, these wines will be low alcohol across the board.
There are some early ripeners, like merlot, malbec and some syrah that had enough time to sit around and gain a lot of sugar, but it did not come as naturally as it usually does. Cabernet and cabernet franc on the other hand, not so much.
So for all of you who’ve been harping about the booze levels, 2011 is your vintage.
From the winemaking side of things, it was a wonderful year in terms of rainfall- the best I can remember in history. We got all of the rain that we wanted for the plants in the spring and early to midsummer and by the fall, it was dry as a desert and the grapes were able to mature without being watered down. Rainy days are the bane of many winemakers’ existences. Just when you have your week planned out, an inch of rain hits and then you’re back to square one.
The cold allowed us to keep bugs under control and even though there weren’t a lot of growing days (hot days), there wasn’t a lot of fruit hanging due to last year’s November freeze, so the two problems cancelled each other out.
Getting the acids to drop and the sugars to rise was the main problem. On the bright side, it means we’ll have wines that will cellar nicely and we can drink the night away without repercussion.