Cook Vineyard Weekly Newsletter 11.7.11
We finished our harvest season last Thursday (Nov.3, 2011).
Vintage 2011 is now part of history. The weather played a big part in this season and this vintage will be remembered for low yields and lower alcohol wines.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to the level of alcohol that should be in a bottle of wine. Some believe that a higher alcohol wine has more flavors due to its ripeness. Others feel that higher alcohol (ethanol) masks the flavors in the wine. Both do agree that one should determine the harvest based on ripeness and balance (acids to sugar ratio) rather than the brix level. This year was a great example. Due to our cool summer, most of our vineyards had a lower brix level, but was balanced. This in return will make the wines of 2011 be lower in alcohol along with some different flavor profiles than other vintages.
Or will it?
Most wines are blended. Every year the wine maker’s taste the different barrels from their vineyards and ends up with the perfect ratio of their blend based on their structure. All varietal wines must contain 75% of the grape variety that is on the bottles label. For instance a Cabernet Sauvignon can be 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Syrah and 5% Petite Verdot. This system allows the winemaker the ability to blend in the much needed flavors needed based on the flavors the grapes produced in any given year.
We can’t wait to taste the wines of 2011. Our prediction is that they will be great balanced lower alcohol wines that will be in high demand due to the lower amount of cases produced.
If anyone wants to visit us in the vineyards to learn more about the world of viticulture, Please call us at 707.490.8921. Also check our face book account Cook Vineyard Management under discussions for more information.
David Christopher Cook
Cook Vineyard Management
P.O. Box 1481
Sonoma, Ca. 95476