Do you know about Tom’s long-term goal to have all his grapes used in winemaking here at Heritage Oak Winery to be estate grown? That means grown here on his property under his direct care and supervision. He has around 140 acres planted and is very close to his goal of having everything estate grown. He has been grafting over, or planting vines, for the past few years to achieve this goal and the vines are all starting to produce a crop. In some instances, the yield of some varieties was pretty small in 2015, but all show good promise for 2016.
The lovely, clean, delicate 2014 Pinot Gris was a first vintage off the property. So was the 2014 Chenin Blanc with its great balance of fruit and acidity. And as I wrote awhile back, the first tasting of 2015 vintages of each of these two wines, as well as the Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, hold a lot of promise.
Late last summer, Tom harvested his first vintage of Tempranillo. He didn’t get much, but he said it looked and tasted good and the numbers were just right. I’m not sure what he is going to do with it, but I am sure it will be fun. Similar things can be said of Cinsault, Graciano, Sangiovese. Since for the 2015 harvest the yields for these wines were small, Tom will probably be using these in blends. The small yield is not true for Malbec, Petit Sirah, Grenache and Charbono, these may become stand-alone varietals or they may show up in blends too. I was fortunate enough to get a taste of the 2015 Petite Sirah aging in an oak barrel and in a flex tank and I have to tell you both were a WOW! I can’t wait for the release of this wine.
Also planted, but not yet yielding enough crop to do much of anything with, are four Portuguese varietals for use in future bottlings of Solera, some Mouvedre and some Nebbiolo.
How fun is this all going to be? Imagine some of the upcoming blends Tom can create with all these new wines to play with. Maybe a Grenach/Graciano blend (hum…yummy), or a GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre — can be tricky but when done right produces a wonderful wine). And who knows what else Tom will come up with? Whatever it is, I am sure it will be all unique, fun and inviting. The big bummer is that we have to wait until 2017, for the reds anyway, to sample the results. Ahh, but never fear, I happen to know there are some interesting blends and stand-alone varietals in the barrel room aging nicely that will soon be ready to fill the gap between now and 2017.
Tasty good fun heading our way.
- Posted by Jim Curtis
- On March 26, 2016
- 0 Comments