Sam and I drew samples, tasted, and tested the pH on all 9 of the 2008 wines tonight. I’m happy to report that I’m very happy. The Chenin Blanc and Rose’ are stable, clear, tasty, and have good acidity. The Zin, Cab, Petit Sirah, and Barbera are all delicious and fault-free. The Merlot is an interesting case…we think it has smoke taint.
Remember all those fires during the summer? Well, things were particularly bad in Napa and Sonoma. Our Merlot came from northern Sonoma (Kenwood). The taste of this wine is spectacular for how young it is. The smell is sort of like a forest fire.
The question is: do we try to eliminate that smell, or is this a uniquely 2008 sort of a thing that people will come to love and will pay a premium for in 2010? We’re going to run this question (and the wine) by a couple people who have been in the business much longer and see what they think. Stay tuned!