My wife – June – is a very talented and intelligent woman. There is no end to the useful things that I have learned from her over our years together. One of the most appropriate ideas, especially for this time of year, is “to start with the end in view.”
Notwithstanding the gigantic overage of fruit from some of our blocks that will have to be pieced into the puzzle a bit on the fly, I had a pretty good idea before harvest where each block of fruit was going to end up in respect to the various tiers of wines I make. But as they say, the plan’s good only until the first bullet flies.
I figured that clone 30 Cabernet was going to be the base for LINEAGE | Livermore Valley and that the clone 6 and clone 4 Cabernet (if they got ripe) from Ghielmetti Vineyard were going to be components of both a Single Vineyard Series of Cabernet as well as the Livermore Valley blend; PV in the Small Lot Offering, Syrah in the Collector’s Circle, etc. I didn’t exactly anticipate, however, that we were going to have as many iterations of certain blocks of fruit that we ended up having. We picked clone 30 Cab three different times, and each wine is different in fruit expression and relative weight; each also needs to be put into barrels that will augment its present shape.
Though I started with the finished bottle of wine in my mind, Mother Nature will very often give me starting material that just doesn’t fit the original plan. And ultimately, I believe it is more important to be true to the place and the year than it is to try to torture my grapes into too rigid a vision.
A good plan will help navigate one through the inevitable turbulent waters of real life, and it is probably the turbulence that, in part, attracts one to a business such as wine. Despite the curvebalIs that the season as thrown so far, I remain EXTREMELY bullish on the quality of the 2013 vintage.