Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Holidays- Looking ahead

It's that time of the year when many of us in the wine biz are looking ahead to where our business is going- where can we go, what can we do to make stay ahead of the game. One of the areas that I am very focused on is blogging! There are some great blogs out there from wine lovers, winemakers, wine retailers, wineries............what a great way to get info about what we are drinking or not. I am now following several blogs, as can be seen from the side list, and some more that I will be adding. Keep watching- I think I'm getting the hang of this and liking it!

So, the New Year is almost upon us- hard to believe. In a few moments I will be going out to taste the wines from 2007- this will be the last time this year. The 2007 Tres Palmeras is coming along beautifully, very complex- it is a 'field blend' of grapes from my own vineyard. The majority of the blend is Tempranillo with a good smattering of Grenache and Carignane. Then there are little bits of Cab, Merlot, Zin, Petite Sirah- all adding their contribution. There is warm spice, cassis, blackberry, blueberry, some plum, and a hint of dried herb.

The 2007 Vista Creek is all Tempranillo. This wine just finished it's second or malolactic fermentation-just in time for the new year. It is in a bit of a 'dumb' stage as it is trying to get itself together from fermenting. Wine is funny this way-it is always evolving- the trick is finding at what point that evolution has peaked. Hence one of the many challenges in winemaking.

On to the New Year- may you all have a prosperous, wonderful, fulfilling year!
Until Next Week-
Cheers to good food, good friends and good wine- The Mustang Winemaker

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tempranillo and Paella

Well, the wine for review on Saturday was corked! Very unfortunate since I was really looking forward to it. Instead I opened up a 2001 Gundlach Bundshu Rhinefarm Tempranillo. This wine was subdued in its aroma. There was some light blueberry aromas with overtones of oak-not heavy handed oak. The wine didn't hold up to the Paella spice and would have been better with a beef dish with herbs. A younger and fruitier wine would have been a better match, but you don't always know until you try it. Then again I could have made the Paella not so spicy..................nahhh! I do recommend trying the G-B Temp- something that they have been producing on a regular basis.

On another note, it is that time of the year again for wine competitions. There is a new competition with a focus on women- Wines Women Want. As a founding member I am giving it a go this year. Then there is the San Francisco Chronicle Tasting coming up about the same time. I always wonder if the awards really mean anything to wine consumers, but it does lend credibility to the wines and those of us that make them. Still waiting for a domestic Tempranillo only competition. Maybe something that another organization I belong to, TAPAS ( may be able to get going one day!

Well, back to the cellar, checking on the wines that are resting after this hectic hectic year-
Cheers to good food, good friends, and good wine- The Mustang Winemaker

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Paella and Tempranillo tonight!

It's Saturday! Just finished reading reviews, returning emails, updating Quickbooks, and thinking about what's for dinner. Paella is on the menu and with that a Rioja- a 1996 Reserva- Marques de Murrieta Ygay. This is a blend of Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Garnacha, and Graciano- can't wait to try it. I had picked this up a while back to keep up with wine styles and the competition. Report later.
So far the 2007 wines are looking, tasting, and smelling great. The Tres Palmeras Vineyard Tempranillo blend has finished with it's malolactic (2nd) fermentation and is now waiting in barrel for a pronouncement that it is ready to bottle. That won't be until next year-probably the fall for this wine. Unlike the Vista Creek Vineyard that has a lot more structure to it and will remain in barrel into 2009.
This last week has been exciting- new equipment for the winery I work for- Rack and Riddle. For those that may not know, I work full time for Rack and Riddle and have my own brand as well that I make at Rack and Riddle. What it means is that I get to work with a lot of other brands wines, which is a lot of fun. The equipment is for some sparkling wine that we will be disgorging soon- as soon as it gets hooked up!
Well, my stomach is rumbling thinking about the Paella- time to get started!
Until next week- cheers to good food, good wine and good friends- the Mustang Winemaker

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Shhhhh- the Grapevines are Going to Sleep

The short days of winter are here along with dropping temperatures. This has prompted the vineyards to drop their leaves, eat less, and go into hibernation mode. It is always beautiful to watch as the leaves turn color and litter the ground. So ends another year for the grapevines. It won't be long before they will awaken for another year to bring us one of the pleasures in life- wine.
This is also the time for many celebrations-some religious, some pagan, some just for thanks that we are here- a time to reflect.
This past harvest has brought some incredible wines. This year has brought me some incredible opportunities for me as a winemaker. I am now getting the chance to work with a nice spectrum of wines and the many challenges that go with starting from scratch. The sparkling wines will be following next harvest. Pretty exciting!Sometimes you never know where your life will lead you with all of the twists and turns.
I have finally sent out my first newsletter-if anyone is interested please email me or you can signup on my webpage. Speaking of webpage-I hope to have some updates soon. With the new opportunites I have not done the updates that I had envisioned.....Stay tuned!
I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving-until next week,Cheers to good food, good wine and good friends-The Mustang Winemaker

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