Winemakers, Parents to their Wine

2009 Illuminatus Cabernet Sauvignon with Rome in the background

A parent wants to know how their children are doing. Whether its classes at school, girl  scout or boy scout activities, a job, or adulthood, parents want to know. Winemakers have similar interests wanting to know about the wines they’ve crafted. I knew our 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, bottled in August 2011 needed to bottle age for at least a year. If we were a winery, we would think about releasing the wine in September of 2012. But like a parent, we desired to know about it now.

We took a couple bottles to Italy to share with wine bloggers and media. It is a good idea to hear other people’s opinion about your wine. Unfortunately, the bloggers were too kind. They had nothing negative to say about the wine. Actually they were quite impressed. In contrast, two of the winemakers we met in Italy were both in agreement that the wine needed to age longer. Teresa Severini of Lungarotti Winery thought the wine could age in the bottle for another four months. Teresa completely understood the parent wanting to know how their children are doing analogy. She too checks her wines to see how they are doing. Sara Goretti of Goretti Winery concurred with the extra time needed to bottle age. She thought we should wait until August. We started the wine in October of 2009 and waiting until August of 2012 is difficult to do when it’s there and can be opened. A bottle once every couple months, though, is fine if we are just checking how it is doing.

Thaddeus Buggs of the Minority Wine Report asked a thought provoking question that I have pondered for several days now. Thaddeus asked, “If you were to make this wine again, what would you do different?” After giving the question some thought there are two things I’d like to do. The first is source grapes from Lake County or Napa. The 2009 Cab had fruit sourced from Paso Robles. I like Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon and would be happy to also go with Napa fruit. The next thing that I would do assuming cost wasn’t a factor is research on the best French oak barrel for a Napa or Lake County Cab. Then purchase the barrel that the research indicates. Other than that, I would repeat the same procedures that I did for the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. Is this a foreshadowing hint of crafting another barrel? I’ll have to see how the weather treats Napa and Lake County this year.


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