Monday, August 24, 2009

Bottling the '08 Humboldt County Pinot Noir

The first deux punx collaboration is in the bottle!!! This started with an email asking about joining forces on an Anderson Valley pinot project and 18 months, 85 blog posts, a couple dozen unforeseen obstacles, devastating frosts, many cases of wine (consumed for nerves), bars from NYC to Garberville, CA, a crashed birthday party in a Jersey City Bar, numerous underwhelming wine events, much to much plotting, planning and dreaming and much moral and sweat equity support from family and friends we are finally in the bottle and able to... continue planning for doing it all over again!!!

So the bottling process all started with deciding on a blend. We have both a new and a neutral barrel each of which brings their own thing to the table. A party of 5 of us agreed (well 4 out of 5) on a blend of 53% new and 47% neutral oak.

The notebook capturing the blend
The cases of bottles waiting to be filled

the setup - barrels and the tank we used for blending and bottling from
defending the blend at it's most vulnerable

The first into the tank was the new barrel

using gravity to measure the tank volume we'd taped levels on the side of the tank
Dan fills the very last of the bottles
in the process of filling we're also tasting, and tasting, and tasting and...

The bottles lined up for waxing

bottling and corking
most of all winemaking is cleaning, cleaning, cleaning

And the finished product!!!

On top of bottling the majority of the wine we're also experimenting with corney kegs and kleen kanteens - keeping the wine sitting under argon and assessing how it ages in the kegs. What does storage under argon do to the flavor of the wine, what does it do to the nose? The hope is that, at least in the relative near-term, it is relatively identical to the wine under cork.

What's next you ask??

A garage Roussanne?
Moving the Pinot to a bonded winery in Napa?
Getting our wholesale license for 2010?
hustling to actually get our 2010 (still on the vine) into some of our favorite restaurants and stores?
Another year of WA Syrah?


But next up we've got some labels to complete!

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