Winemaker’s Journal

April 21, 2013

Well, I may as well wish you a Happy New year as it’s been that long since I wrote a passage to you our valued customers. At last writing I made it clear that our industry has been affected by the small 2011 and our lingering, uncertain economy. But I am please to report to you today that our robust 2012 crop has already made its impact on supply and at this writing seem to have largely quenched the thirst the shortage that the 2011 crop created. Prices have come down and we have even made some large purchases of grapes in 2012 and the quality is fantastic.


The vintage was definitely fast and furious. The weather was ideal in that we had plenty of heat early in the season and then cooler weather post verasion in August and September; hence we had some problems with tank space because grapes from all appellations were ripening at the same time. For example, normally we would be harvesting Sauvignon Blanc from cool climate Napa valley at the same time as Zinfandel (red – I’m sure you knew that) from warmer Lodi. But this year the Zinfandel from Lodi ripened at the same time as Napa Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and the winery was absolute chaos. That said, we got everything “in the barn” as they say and the quality was really worth all of the anxiety.


Notably, our 2012 Michael Pozzan Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc was sourced exclusively in Yountville and has ample acidity with beautiful pink grapefruit on the palate and melon palate notes; this wine experienced such a nice slow fermentation and it shows in the bottle (please see the tasting notes). Second, our 2012 Carneros Pinot Noir is a really nice and serious Pinot Noir, which again we sourced out of two vineyards; one near Cuttings Wharf on the Napa side and the other closer to Schellville in Sonoma. As it ages on French oak I will wait with anticipation to bottling late this summer. I know most of it will be used for the Annabella program, but I’m told there may be another creation in the works; so you and I will both have to stay tuned for that. Regardless, the wine is really good and whatever it is used for will make a tremendous impact.


As we move onto the 2013 vintage I look forward to seeking new opportunities with Michael to see what new and exciting programs (and fruit sources) we can develop. I look forward to telling you about them next time, and I promise I won’t be wishing you Happy New Year.


Richard Bruno

Consulting Winemaker