Sunday, August 29, 2010

Looking toward harvest

Wet cool spring. Very cool summer. Heat spike last week means we can now look ahead to harvest. Brix 20-22. Acids still high but coming down. Most all of the fruit through veraison. I anm hoping/wishing/praying all goes smoothly as we come down the home stretch! Probably picking late Sept or even into early October. All sorts of potential to be a stellar vintage!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Calm Before the Storm: Vineyard Update

It is mid August and things are eerily calm for this time of year. The cool weather all summer has slowed down ripening and most of our fruit is just now going through veraison- fully two weeks behind "normal." Normal is in quotes because, after all, we are talking about the weather!

The answer to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is, like so much of winemaking: it depends.

Slow even ripening of the fruit is clearly a big plus- it promotes more complexity and flavor and without the loss of acidity that can happen with very ripe fruit.

On the other hand, many growers are worrying whether the fruit will ripen sufficiently before the October rains start. Picking in the rain is obviously no fun and can be bad for the grapes- the roots will take up the water and can dilute the flavors by pumping water into the grapes.

For winemakers there is also the question of getting the fruit in and made into wine. If it all ripens at once, winemakers will be working round the clock. Winemakers hope the grapes will ripen at different times to be able to handle the flow. But we have to play the cards that Mother Nature deals us . The next three to four weeks will determine all of this!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year All- 2008 Poinsett Pinot Noir

Ok, it's still a baby - 2008 wine and only bottled at Thanksgiving. But I get impatient and had to see how this one was coming along. Popped and poured it thorough a Vinturi (a quick way to aerate wine) this past weekend to toast the New Year.

As I remembered from our blending of this wine... showing lots of wild berry flavors, relatively restrained alcohol, brilliant garnet color, translucent at the rim. Everything is in balance on this wine and I am very happy with how this wine is coming along. Less cranberry and raspberry than the 07 Poinsett and a tad more blue and black fruit with that wild berry element but not at all heavy, indeed quite light and very elegant. So young, very primary on the fruit but with wood, spice and earth nuances showing behind the fruit.

In another year the fruit will recede a bit and more of the spice and earth should show. This will be a perfect food wine and should age extremely well. I would not hesitate to cellar this for ten years.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Photos From the "In the Business" Wine Tasting

Greenville News showed up at our "In the Business" Calicaro Wine Tasting and took some great shots. What a difference a professional photographer makes! Hope you enjoy. Very nice elegant tasting. Check out those Riedel Vinum stems.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Calicaro Wine Dinner Reminder

Just a quick reminder to sign up for the Calicaro Wine Dinner at Devereaux's on Nov 19. Call Devereaux's at 241- 3030 or sign up at:

Three fine Calicaro Pinot Noirs, two white wines and a menu designed to match by Chef Spencer at one of Greenville's finest restaurants. It promises to be a wonderful evening. Don't wait as there is limited seating for this event.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wine Launch Photos

Hee are some shots taken by Donna Brown from the Calicaro Launch Party along with a few other wine/food related shots. Thanks Donna!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Lawyer Looks at Wine Criticism

When I'm not making wine I am practicing law. This probably gives me a different perspective than some other bloggers and wine writers who have railed against "Parkerization", ie the hegemony of Robert Parker over the last thirty years in the area of wine criticism.

I don't share their view. Not that I always agree with Parker. Far from it. Most of the criticism seems to be that Parker shouldn't dominate the market in the fashion that he has and that this continues to be a bad thing for the wine world because winemakers now tailor their efforts to suit his palate.

I think- and this is where the legal vino point of view comes in- that this completely misses the point. When confronted with First Amendment free speech cases the Supreme Court usually says that the solution is not to stifle speech but instead to offer more of it. If you don't like what the other guy is saying, rather than coercing his silence, you should instead jump into the fray and offer your own viewpoints. Democracy- and the free markets- are messy and noisy places- and this is ultimately a good thing in preserving freedom.

After all, Parker is only doing what ALL critics do- including those critics who think he holds too much sway over the market. And that is to offer up his opinion. The fact that too many people pay too much heed to what he has to say is not HIS problem- it is merely evidence of the extent to which he has succeeded. More power to him for doing so -not really- just kidding!

So, rather than attacking Parker for his power, his competition needs to step up its game and offer their opinions and further develop their reputations, without tearing down Parker's. Compete in the marketplace of ideas and let the best man/woman win. Rather than shutting down speech offer MORE speech.

The inevitablity of time will ultimately prevail if nothing else will in the meantime. Parker has been attacking the whole concept of wine bloggers and some of them have not been kind to him.

But how many bloggers are over 40? And how old is Parker now? So, I say let him enjoy his time doing what he obviously loves. Rather than tearing down Parker, bloggers and other critics should be building their own reputations. I don't think however, that we will see the same level of hegemony by any one critic again any time soon. That era is passing