AS THE SUN SETS SLOWLY IN THE WEST....
...BEAUTIFUL SCHERRER VINEYARD CABERNET, SAMPLED ON SEPTEMBER 15, IS NOW READY!
THE OLD VINE CAB BLOCK IS ON THE UPPER LEFT
SAME CAB BLOCK VIEWED FROM THE HILL ZIN BLOCK. BEST OF THE BEST!
ED SCHERRER, FRED'S DAD - FAMILY VINEYARD SINCE 1899. BEST FRIEND TRIXIE
1899. That’s how long the Scherrer family has been farming in the Alexander Valley. Ed, now in his mid-80s, still does much of the vineyard work himself.
The Cabernet block above was planted in 1989. The “young vines” to the right were planted in 1993.
Ed didn’t go with the popular opinion of the time, which was to plant on AXR1 rootstock. He preferred to stick with what was working well – St George rootstock. Viticultural history shows that AXR1 was susceptible to the vine louse phylloxera which decimated many California vines in the late 80s and early 90s. So, Ed’s Cabernet vines are older than many Cabernet vineyards in Napa or Sonoma.
ED STILL HAS TIME FOR THE GARDEN
Tomorrow morning, October 15, 2011, as you are reading this, Cabernet from Fred’s family vineyard will be arriving at Scherrer Winery!!!
NOT FROM HASBRO OR TOYS"R"US. OTIS AND HIS MIGHTY TONKA TRUCK
UNLOADING CALYPSO VINEYARD SYRAH FOR THE ROSÉ
The Calypso Vineyard grapes from less than 2 miles away, are delivered by Otis on this Tonka Truck flatbed! It was a myth to me until yesterday.
Fred kept saying ‘look for the Tonka Truck’ when we 1st started receiving some Calypso fruit this week. I was finally around when Otis dropped off some more of his immaculate Syrah.
BELLA AND OTIS
Notice the grape stains on Otis’ jeans. He meticulously picks all the fruit himself from his 2-acre vineyard near Iron Horse in Green Valley. The vineyard is divided into 19 blocks, each with its’ own dedicated irrigation lines. Fred tells me Otis has the most unique trellis system as well, so I will add to this post after I visit Calypso. Alban clone Syrah, Syrah Noir, Viognier, Zinfandel, Merlot and Pommard Pinot Noir were some of the varietals I heard mentioned. (We also made a very tiny batch of Calypso Pinot Noir this harvest).
Then, he loads the bins onto the Tonka and delivers it to Fred.
TONKA TRUCK DOCK FOREMAN, BELLA
Fred is the exclusive recipient of Calypso fruit! Another great relationship with a small neighborhood Sonoma grower.
SATELLITE IMAGE OF PLANET ROSÉ
Sorry for not checking in the past few days. We have been receiving Syrah from Otis’ Calypso Vineyard in Green Valley near Iron Horse (more info on this vineyard soon). This juice will be fermented separately but later it will be blended with that Grenache Rosé.
BEAUTIFUL DROPLETS OF SYRAH FOR A MAJOR PORTION OF THE 2011 ROSÉ
Pressing the Syrah is exciting but takes time. Lots of low pressure cycles so that we don’t extract too much of a good thing. You want bright fruit and good acidity but you have to be aware of astringent notes that show up in the later cycles. Last night’s juice from the press pans had a wonderful peppery note and some mouthwatering tartness to it!
IT HELPS TO HAVE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE AND A CUP OF JOE
So, I’ve had to take my dessert right near the Press. Look at the color on the juice in the background.
SOMETIMES THE MORNINGS COMES TOO SOON. SEE THE MOON IS STILL OUT ON EASTSIDE ROAD IN THE RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
We came back to Platt Vineyard to get our Pommard Pinot Noir. Rain was in the forecast for 11:00 AM. We started at 7:00.
THE POMMARD PINOT LOOKS GOOD, ESPECIALLY AFTER LAST WEEK'S RAIN
EARLY MORNING FOG WAS CROWDING IN ON US
CHECK OUT THE EXTREME FOG.
…at some point during the pick we had to amend “extreme fog” and admit that “ok, it is, in fact, rain now!”
WE GOT A LOT DONE BUT WE DIDN'T TOTALLY BEAT THE RAIN. TODAY'S PICK CAME TO A MUDDY END
I said it before – “this is the true Sonoma Coast.” Farming grapes at the extreme edge. Not for the feint of heart. Fred has made some great calls on when to pick. Although we got a little wet, we got the grapes in before any real damage was done!
HEARTY POST-PICK CARBS
ps – did I mention that The Texas Rangers won today’s Game 2 on a walk-off Grand Slam!
ROBIN, MY ROOMMATE, GOES ALL OUT WITH HOLIDAY DECORATIONS
SCHERRER OLD & MATURE ZIN PAIRS GREAT WITH THANKSGIVING FARE
SCARE SOME UP FOR YOUR GUESTS
Ok, so it is a gratuitous plug for Scherrer Winery, as is The Library post. But, I really do believe you will love the Zinfandel and The Open House is always a good time that shows off the age-worth winemaking that goes on here in the apple orchard.
1997 SCHERRER VINEYARD CHARDONNAY
FRED LATE NIGHT WITH THE LIBRARY WINES
FORKLIFT SEARCH FOR PAST VINTAGES DATING BACK DEEP INTO THE 1990s
OR, MAYBE A RARE VINEYARD DESIGNATE LIKE THIS PINOT FROM FT ROSS HIGH SLOPES
Late into Saturday evening, Fred, Kerry and I searched through the dwindling supply of older wines from Scherrer Winery’s Library stash. Fred is trying to find just the right mix of interesting vintages that will show well for the November Open House. Some exciting stuff will be poured. Make sure to be there!
(Maybe try some Bliss Vineyard Syrah from his old buddy Don Bliss’ place)