Sunday, November 23, 2008

Holidays and Chardonnay

My TR Assistant Manager, Sam, and I were working on a special flight which led us to tasting our Chardonnays. For me, Chardonnay and holidays go hand in hand. Quite honestly, I tend to drink more Chardonnay during the holidays then any other time during the year. While I can't say I'm partial to one over another, each has their place with meals and special occasions. I'm still drinking 06 Stuhlmuller and 06 Costello and enjoying those to the fullest but as Sam and I tasted the 07 vintage from those vineyards on Friday. I have to say, they were REALLY good. We made the choice not to pour them as they are still young but I am going to rethink that now. I have to tell you -our new Russian River 07 Saralee Chardonnay is a shining star for being a first release from that vineyard. It's one of those things that just makes an owner smile. Who wouldn't when the better wines are created every year. We've even converted some "I only like Cabernet Sauvignon"drinkers to add our Dutcher Crossing Chardonnays to their cellars. That's a great way to start the holidays.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Taylor Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Earns 90 pts!

Good news for Dutcher Crossing and congrats to Kerry and Dan. Our 05 Taylor Reserve earned 90pts for Wine and Spirits Magazine. As a rule, we don't chase scores or even medals with our wines. We carefully select what wines we would like to submit and to whom. There are a plethora of theories regarding scores but each winery needs to do what works for their business model. I'm quite proud of the 05 Taylor Reserve and the job well done by the winemakers.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Proprietor's Cabernet is Finally Released

The long wait is over. The 06 PR Cab has finally been released. It's a difficult decision to make as to the release of wine and to be honest, it's something I struggle with from time to time. While I have the understanding that DC wine club family members are knowledgeable about the blend and how it develops, it is difficult letting it out of the chute when it's so young. As all of us have heard many times, you only get one chance to make a first impression. With that being said, what is the first impression we give about the PR Cab when it is so young and for many people, it's their first experience with a good Cab/Syrah blend.

That's where my winemakers come into play. Their passion for Syrah and blending it with Dry Creek Cabernet is contagious. As a long time Merlot fan, I have been a little partial to Cabernets that have some Merlot. Let's be honest, for many of us, Merlot was our first experience with red wine. Plus, our first quality Cabernets we encountered were most likely a Bordeaux blend from France. How many of us really had much experience with the Aussies style reds until the recent decade? Not many as Australia has really starting to come into their own over the last 10 years. So maybe I'm partial to our Cabernet-Syrah blends because during my time searching for a winery, I had Aussie consultants. But those Aussies love much more than just Syrah (Shiraz)! They get the concept of making food friendly wines which is what we love to do.

My staff does a really nice job educating new people all about the Cabernet-Syrah blend and why we do it. Not only is it important for the Dry Creek fruit we use but the Syrah soften the Cabernet and helps to create food friendly elegant wines. I think we have a good product with our PR Cabernet and it's rewarding to see people enjoying the wine even when it's so young. We hear more and more comments stating that they could drink it with almost any food. Our key seems to be that we work hard on educating the consumer on all aspects of each specific wine and that allows them to understand our young wines. If we do the work we need to, we should be able to overcome releasing a little early.