Happening In August @ Woodworth
Published: Thursday, August 20, 2015
In the Vineyards...
July and August were pretty hot here in De Luz. Also the bees were out in full force and did some real damage to our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The pictures below tell the story.
We were several weeks ahead and the Pinot and Chardonnay were picked by the first week of August. The Merlot was picked one week later and we will be picking the Syrah in a few days.
We have a great crop of Avocados for the 2016 harvest. So much that Gary and Isaura have been spending the last month propping up branches with 2 X 4s to keep them from breaking. So now we can all worry about a strong El Nino that washes the trees down the hill. Oh well, always something.
To Age or Not to Age, That is the Question...
We were at dinner at a friend's house a couple of weeks ago. He is a very accomplished chef. In fact, I'd need an entire Newsletter to take you through the incredible menu that night. Anyway, he brought out a bottle of 1966 Charles Krug Cabernet for us. That inspired an entire conversation on aging wines. Which wines age well, why, how, etc. So, I came home and did some research. Here's what I found.
About 90% of the wines made today are made to be consumed within 2 years, and the vast majority of wines purchased today are consumed within 48 hours. Given that, here are some tips for how to tell if a wine will age well and how to do it..
1) Sugar content and alcohol: A high percentage of sugar and alcohol slows the aging process, keeping the wine chemicals from reacting too fast and becoming unbalanced, or worse, turning to vinegar.
2) Tannins: Highly tannic wines are generally great candidates for aging. You know the wine you're drinking is tannic when it gives your mouth a dry, puckering sensation that can be very unpleasant. But as tannins age, they bind to each other, losing their astringent quality and making the wine supple and smooth.
3) Structure: Tannins don't mean good aging by themselves. They need the proper acidity and fruitiness to back them up.
Varietals that age well:
Riesling: A wonderful candidate for aging. A good Riesling can go on improving, growing rounder in flavor, virtually forever.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabs from Bordeaux, California, and many other places have the bold richness needed to age well.
Chardonnay: It depends. A rich, buttery Chardonnay doesn't have the structure to age well and will fall apart within a few years. But acidic Chardonnays with rich mineral tastes can very well improve with aging.
Fortified wines: Port, Madeira and the like age wonderfully because their high quantities of sugar and alcohol act to slow down the aging process, meaning that they can open well after even hundreds of years.
Pinot Noir: Professional opinions vary. This grape, so unpredictable on the vine, is unpredictable in the cellar too.
Syrah: Most Syrahs age well, but only up to a limit-about 10 years.
Merlot: Merlot is a very forgiving wine. Many bottles taste great young, but will still benefit from some time in the cellar. So Merlot is a great varietal to experiment with-try a variety of ages and see what suits your tastes.
Zinfandel: Like Cabernet Sauvignon, many Zinfandels have the potential to age to greatness.
Varietals that don't age well:
Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and most Rosés: They don't have the structure necessary for good aging.
Wines under $15: They're made to drink now.
Champagne: Though some champagnes can age well, becoming rounder, softer, and less bubbly over time, most are not meant to. If you're holding on to a 20-year old bottle from your wedding, you probably won't like it.
So, if you have a wine to age, how do you do it?
All wines mature fairly quickly in a typical household (68-72F, frequent changes in sunlight and humidity), and shouldn't be kept more than five or six months in these conditions. Beyond six months (sometimes sooner, if there were very hot days inside), most wines will begin to deteriorate.
Finer wines that require aging need to be kept in a place that is constantly cool (50-60F), dark, damp, and without excessive vibration. Do not store wines in your refrigerator for an extended length of time; though it's a constantly cool temperature, there is little humidity, so your corks will shrink and the wine will spoil.
Since not everyone has a wine cellar, you will need to find a place that is as close to these ideal conditions as possible. The most important thing is constant cool temperature-wines do not react well to extreme variations. Dampness is also important, but you should be OK if your storage area is not overly dry, and you are sure to keep all bottles on their side, so that the wine stays in contact with the cork, thereby keeping the cork moist and expanded to hold a tight seal. If the cork dries, air gets in and destroys the wine. (VintageCellars.com, WineWeekly.com)
New Recipe for Black Dog ...
Our favorite chef, Patrick Bartlett, has come up with another winner to pair with our 2012 Black Dog. Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Bourbon Glaze.
Sounds pretty amazing, right?
Here is what Patrick says about the pairing: "The Woodworth 2012 Black Dog is a beautiful blend of Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot. The Syrah harmonizes with the smokiness of the bacon, and the rich blackberry bourbon glaze draws out the big berries and cherries swirling in thei wine. Amazingly, this dish causes the wine to dig deeper into it's flavor profile, creating a rich, more bold tasting experience."
To get a copy of the recipe to read and print out, use this link to the Black Dog Page. When you are on the page, click on Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin :
Save the Date ...
The year is flying by and, before you know it, it will be time for the annual Barrel Tasting. We have a tentative (almost final) date of Saturday November 14. So, put it on your calendar and we'll get the confirmation out to you next month.
The Barrel Tasting is a great way to kick off the holiday season with wine, food, music and friends.
We'll see you there!
Woof Notes ...
Several weeks ago we lost Hercules, our cool-little-dude dog. Herc showed up on our patio about 9 years ago. At the time the Vet told us that he was at least 7 years old, so he had a long and adventurous life. He definitely had a 'tude' and quickly became my little buddy. We have no idea where he came from, but from the very first day he decided this was home and he made sure that we understood that he not only slept in the house, but also in the bed. We miss him, but are glad we had him for so long.
Herc finally got his own wine last year and here are a few of his Woof Notes.
It's Time to Pick Up Wine and Party!
Pick up your July Shipment and join us for a fun time of wine, food, music and friends at Temecula Valley Cheese Company. There will be great wine (of course), yummy appetizers and live music from Slow Traffic.
Date: Saturday July 18
Time: 4pm - 7pm
Location: Temecula Valley Cheese Co, Old Town Temecula.
Happening in the Vineyards...
'May Grey' slipped right into 'June Gloom' seamlessly this year. Up until this week it's been wet and cool in the mornings. This week, however, we're looking at hot and dry all day every day.
As you can see, the grapes are set and it looks good for the 2015 vintage. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are going into veraison . If you look close at the picture on the right, you can see the Pinot starting to turn red. We finished netting to keep the birds away and, so far, haven't seen many bees, so yea!
We've got golf ball size avocados on the trees and this week we had the helicopter out to spray for thrips. So this is the time of year that we just wait and watch everything grow and hope for the best.
Latest Competition Results...
We've had some great competition results so far this year. As you know (or maybe not know), we haven't had a Merlot varietal since 2009. It was great. We finally were able to produce another and we released our 2012 Merlot last month. We just won a Gold Medal (scoring a 92!) at the LA International Wine Competition, one of the largest. Merlot is one of the best food pairing wines, so I hope you get a chance to try it soon.
As a note, the Reserve Wild Bandit won a Silver and the new 2012 Black Dog won a Bronze at this same competition.
We also just found out that our 2012 Pinot Noir has again won a Gold Medal at the 13th annual Pinot Shootout. There were 497 Pinots from all over the world in the competition. Not only did we win a Gold, we were in the top 40 wines invited to pour at the Pinot Summit in July.
if you are a Pinot lover, and haven't tried our 2012, or have tried it and liked it, you may want order some or pick some up. We are selling out really quickly this year. It looks like we only have another month or so of supply.
Avocado Basics & What Wine Goes With Guacamole?
Its summer and 4th of July is coming up. That means hot dogs and hamburgers, but it also means guacamole and chips. Demand for Avocados has really increased over the last ten years, probably from the popularity of guacamole. For many years it was something exotic that you only had when you came to the Southwest.
Avocados came to California in 1871 and to this day about 90% of the US crop is grown here. Gary and I grow Haas avocados, which is the type most usually found in grocery stores. Haas are very creamy and have a higher oil content than other varieties.
The cool thing about growing or buying avocados is that they don't ripen on the tree. That gives a lot of flexibility to when you pick, and flexibility on choosing ripeness in the store. You can buy ripe avocados in the store to use now, or buy less ripe to use a few days or a week later. They will ripen on the counter in a few days and then you put them in the refrigerator to hold them. If you need to speed ripen, put them in a paper bag with an apple.
Since its guacamole season, the question is how to pair wine. Purists will say that guacamole only goes with margaritas or beer, but that's not quite true. Natalie MacLean (author of Red, White and Drunk All Over) says the following: "I put them in a category I call Green Wine Stalkers because their natural compounds don't marry well with many wine styles." She suggest a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio . The acidity of those wines will cut through the sweet fattiness of the avocado. Herc's Field Blend would be perfect because of its crisp acidity and citrusy notes.
Now that you know what wine to pour, it's important to have a great guacamole recipe. The best place to find recipes for avocados, especially guacamole, is www.californiaavocado.com. Try the Roasted Corn Guacamole or the Margarita Guacamole. They have chefs from all over coming up with some yummy things. Remember, California avocados are the best.
This Wine is Corked!
A couple of weeks ago we had some people over and I opened a bottle of our 2012 Pinot. It was not good, in fact, really bad. It really surprised us. It's been a long time since we have opened a 'corked' bottle of wine. It was particularly disturbing because it was one of ours. We opened a second bottle and it was fine. How does this happen?
A corked wine does not mean a wine that has tiny particles of cork floating around in the glass. Corked wine is a term for a wine that has become contaminated with cork taint.
Cork taint is not simply the taste of a cork. It is caused by the presence of a chemical compound called TCA (trichloroanisole). TCA is formed when natural fungi (of which many reside in cork) come in contact with certain chlorides found in bleaches and other winery sanitation / sterilization products.
While unpleasant to taste, cork taint is not harmful to humans. Corked wines smell and taste of damp, soggy, wet or rotten cardboard. Cork taint dulls the fruit in a wine, renders it lackluster and cuts the finish. Sometimes it is barely noticeable and other times it knock your socks off the moment you open the bottle.
It occurs naturally in cork. It used to be that 8-10% of bottles of wine were 'corked'. Today several advanced QA/QC procedures and treatments are in place to render cork less susceptible to developing cork taint. But it can still happen. Now it's more like 2 - 3%.
The fact that it doesn't occur much doesn't make it less disturbing when you find it. If you open a bottle and think its 'corked', take it back (or send it back if you are at a restaurant). It's common enough that there should be no questions. The chances are that the next bottle is just fine.
July Pick Up Party...
It's time for members to pick up their July shipments. Join us for wine, appetizers, live music and friends in Old Town Temecula. In fact, make an evening of it and try out one of the great new restaurants after you pick up your wine. Slow Traffic will be playing some great country rock music and we've got some yummy appetizers planned, so don't miss this fun time!
Date: Saturday, July 18
Time: 4pm - 7pm
Place: Temecula Valley Cheese Co, Old Town Temecula
RSVP at PICK UP PARTY
Gary and I hope you enjoyed this month's Newsletter. If you did please forward it to a friend. If you received this from a friend and would like to be on the mailing list, you can sign up at MAILING LIST.
Gary & Marlene
In the Vineyards...
Lots happening in the vineyards and groves in April.
I've been selling these gorgeous King Protea to the local florists for Starbucks money. The bees have arrived and are busy pollinating the trees and messing up the windows.
The vineyards are looking great. We have a new process to combat powdery mildew and so far, so good. The vines are way ahead of the valley and it looks like we have a great fruit set.
It's harvest time for the avocados. We can also see the little 2016 avocados starting to form. Harvest was light this year, but looking pretty good so far for next year.
We've been sold out of some of our most popular reds for several months and I'm happy to say that they are now available., I'm really excited that after several years we have a new 2012 Merlot. Our last Merlot was a 2009, released in 2012 and sold out in 2013.
Merlot is one of my favorite wines, so give me a minute while I wax poetic.
Merlot is a very seductive wine. It relies on finesse, not power. You can enjoy the flavors and aromas of red fruit (cherry, raspberry) instead of the black fruit flavors of Cabernet. It's delicate balance and structure is what makes Merlot one of the best food wines.
Our 2012 Estate Grown, single vineyard Merlot has lovely flavors and aromas of cherry and raspberries. You will also find some herbal hints and notes of black licorice with good acidity and a nice finish.
A little Merlot trivia for your next wine social:
1) France has the most Merlot planted, almost 250k acres. Italy is the number two producer and the US is third.
2) China drinks the most Merlot, in fact, they drink the most red wine in the world, but they often mix it with Coke or Sprite to make it taste better.
Our 2012 Black Dog is a yummy blend of 55% Syrah, 30% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. You will find flavors and aromas of blackberry and black currant with notes of lavender, black licorice and olive. It has a nice acidity and a silky finish.
Our Reserve Wild Bandit is a blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Pinot Noir. You will find flavors and aromas of blackberry and black cherry fruit. There are black licorice notes and hints of tobacco with firm tannins and a lengthy finish.
Ask for them at Crush & Brew
It's a floor wax and a dessert topping ...
Well, not quite, but pretty close. It turns out the wine has a variety of other uses besides drinking. Here are a few examples. (Again, just a little trivia for your next wine social)
Fabric dye - We all know that spilled red wine is very hard to clean, so it can be used as a dye. Heat the wine to simmering in a big pot on the stove, add the fabric, stir with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes and then cool and rinse. Results are a little unpredictable, however.
Skin softener - The antioxidants that make red wine a healthy drink is also beneficial when applied to skin. Use red wine as a toner and it will help smooth and refine skin thanks to the acidity.
Fruit and vegetable cleaner - Wine can be used as a natural cleaner. The alcohol dissolves impurities on the fruit's surface and has been shown to kill several pathogens like Salmonella and E.coli.
Glass cleaner - Spoiled white wine works like a charm on dirty glass. Add a few tablespoons to a spray bottle of water and use on windows and mirrors.
Remove grease stains - Pour leftover white wine onto grease and oil stains on garage floors and driveways. The alcohol and acidity will help them dissipate.
Use wine to clean wine - If you spill red wine on the carpet flood it with white wine and then blot it up immediately with a towel.
Run your car - Prince Charles uses wine to fuel his Aston Martin. He converted his car to run on biofuel made from surplus wine.
Of course, the best use of wine is to have a glass with a group of friends. (Source: Ecosalon.com)
Blessing of the Vines...
The Blessing of the Vines is just one month from now. Don't wait to get your tickets, we always sell out.
Date: Sunday, May 17
Time: 2pm - 5pm
Location: Woodworth Vineyards, De Luz
Cost: $20 for Members, $30 for Non-Members
Tastings at Woodworth...
It's spring and the weather is gorgeous. It's time to think about wine tasting. If you live in Southern California, or are going to be visiting, schedule a tasting at our vineyards in beautiful De Luz. Tasting times are available 7 days a week from 11 am to 3 pm. Walk through the vineyards, enjoy the views and enjoy a selection of Woodworth wines paired with artisan cheese. Gift certificates for tastings are also available.
They all had a great time and so will you!
Woof Notes ...
Gary & Marlene
Your Invitation to Blessing of the Vines
Published: Monday, March 02, 2015
It's time for the annual Blessing of the Vines...
Join us for this fun annual event and help us kick off the 2015 vintage with an afternoon of wine, food, music and friends.
Date: Sunday, May 17
Location: Woodworth Vineyards, De Luz
Cost: $20 for Members, $30 for Non-Members
We're sorry, but we are sold out for this year's event
Other Recent Articles
December @ Woodworth Vineyards
Published: Friday, November 28, 2014
Here is the December 2014 Newsletter from Woodworth Vineyards
The September 2014 Newsletter from Woodworth Vineyards.
It's Time for the Winter Barrel Tasting
Published: Friday, September 19, 2014
It's time for the Winter Barrel Tasting at Woodworth Vineyards
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