How is our wine doing?
Our wine continues to age as separate components in the french-oak barrels that we chose in Bordeaux. All of our wine components finished their malolactic conversion last winter (in late 2010). Since that time our wine has been racked three to four times in 2011 (some barrels are getting their forth racking right now) and will get one more racking prior to the final blending, fining and bottling process.
One of the better vintages of the last 20 years.
As producers of a 2010 Bordeaux, we have operated in what is considered one of the better vintages of the last 20 years. Here is a good article from Will Lyons of the Wall Street Journal on overall impressions (including Parker’s) of the 2010. In addition, follow this link for broad coverage by Decanter Magazine on the 2010 Bordeaux campaign, where you’ll read much about market reaction to inflated Bordeaux pricing in the face of a second ‘vintage of the century’ in a row. Since we are positioned as a winemaker, working with Crushpad, Bordeaux, we already know our cost of our wine upfront. So we are immune to that issue with Crushpad, in spite of the fact that many of our parcels touch these rated growths.
As for the overall quality of the wines, we recently performed a tasting with a professional whom we’ve been told has one of the better palates in Bordeaux. He also has a reputation for ‘telling it like it is’ without sparing criticism. His conclusion was that all of our 2010 batches easily match ‘classified growth’ quality. This is not the first time wI’ve heard it, albeit from less neutral sources. You’ll be the ultimate judge. But the bottom line is that Neil Whyte, Eric Boissenot and the Crushpad Manager in Bordeaux, Steven Bolger, continue to be very pleased with each of our blend components.
Since we already blended our wine in our September visit to Bordeaux, we won’t be attending the 3rd Annual Client Mashup, to be held on May 5, 2012 to finish our wine. For those of you who have never attended one of these events, the Mashup is an opportunity to finish your wine assemblage with either our winemakers or Eric Boissenot, who is the consultant for four of Bordeaux’s five first growths and a myriad of other 1855 classified chateaux. In addition, you get to meet other fellow winemakers, growers and other industry players. Crushpad Bordeaux also organizes an optional tour of the great estates of Pessac-Leognon (and perhaps Sauternes) on May 4. If you did not attend last year’s event, here is a video of how it went.
We are Finishing Our Label and Packaging Options
We are almost done, working with the very efficient Rachelle O’Brian with our wine labels They will be ready when they are needed to get labels to the printers in time for a June or July bottling. We kind of underestimated the time it takes to finish our label. Deciding on our brand name, making creative decisions, numerous copy edits… all of this is time-consuming. And with the hundreds of labels that Jenny and Rachelle in Crushpad Sonoma need to produce, they aren’t always immediately available.
In addition to our label design, we already advised Crushpad Bordeaux about our packaging options for our wine.
Finally a Recommendation to Bordeaux Wine Lovers
If you are interested in making a 2011 barrel of great quality Bordeaux wine, Crushpad Bordeaux still has available allocations from a number of their vineyards. Crushpad Bordeaux is primarily a word-of-mouth business, so we are very happy to pass the word around to our wine-loving friends. We highly recommend the knowledge, the excellent attention to the clients and the great connections in Bordeaux offered by our friend, Steven Bolger. Please consult Crushpad 2011 Vineyard List by clicking here.
Steven Bolger expects to issue the 2012 Vineyard List shortly, along with what he hopes will be some interesting news. So stay tuned.