Harvest 2013

It is unusual to have two fabulous years in a row, but 2013 was another great vintage. The vines ripened quickly and it appeared as though we would be harvesting 3 or so weeks ahead of schedule. However, even though harvest did begin early in parts of Sonoma County, after a couple of heat spikes in late August and early September, the weather began to cooperate and ripening slowed. We ended up harvesting a little over a week ahead of schedule and picked the Pinot on September 26th. This year I decided to make the same 3 clones – 115, 777 and Swan, but this year I co-fermented them in a jacketed tank, after picking them all on the same day. For all the prior vintages of Blagden, I fermented the clones separately, drained and sometimes pressed them separately and allowed them to barrel age separately in order to learn more about these various Pinot clones. Kept separate, I was able to watch how flavors, textures and aromas evolved for each of the clones. I could then evaluate each of the barrels individually to be sure they were good enough for the Sangiacomo blend. Of course, every year, every barrel was good enough for the Pinot. Hats off to the Sangiacomos – they know how to grow great grapes!

 

This year I wanted to use cooling to manage the fermentation a bit and was interested to see how co-fermentation would affect the final product – therefore I used a jacketed tank for the combined lot. It is thought that having a relatively longer fermentation is desirable as it can lead to a more complex and balanced finished product, so I thought I might try it to see if I thought it made a difference.

It is unusual to have two fabulous years in a row, but it looks like 2013 will be another great vintage. The vines ripened quickly and it appeared as though we would be harvesting 3 or so weeks ahead of schedule this year. However, even though harvest did begin early in parts of Sonoma County, after a couple of heat spikes in late August and early September, the weather began to cooperate and ripening slowed. We ended up harvesting a little over a week ahead of schedule and picked the Pinot on September 26th. This year I decided to make 3 clones – 115, 777 and Swan and I co-fermented them in a jacketed tank, after picking them all on the same day. For all the prior vintages of Blagden, I fermented the clones separately, drained and sometimes pressed them separately and allowed them to barrel age separately in order to learn more about these various Pinot clones. Kept separate, I was able to watch how flavors, textures and aromas evolved for each of the clones. I could then evaluate each of the barrels individually to be sure they were good enough for the Sangiacomo blend. Of course, every year, every barrel was good enough for the Pinot. Hats off to the Sangiacomos – they know how to grow great grapes! This year I decided to make the Antonio Mountain Chardonnay again – just to mix it up and keep you Blagden lovers on your feet! 
For the Pinot, I was interested in using cooling to manage the fermentation a bit and was interested to see how co-fermentating would affect the final product – therefore I used a jacketed tank for the combined lot. It is thought that having a relatively longer fermentation is desirable as it can lead to a more complex and balanced finished product, so I thought I might try it to see if I thought it made a difference.
9/26/13 picked all 3 clones at night and received the wine at 7:00 am in the winery. We named the day Sangicomo Day as James from MacPhail and Kerith from Brulium also make Sangicomo Pinot Noirs and all our grapes came in on the same day. We sorted and destemmed our grapes and sent them to tank for a 5 day cold soak. After 2 days, we bled off about 15%, sent it to neutral barrel and inoculated the Rose. On day 4, we turned off the cooling at the tank and let the must warm up to kick off fermentation. We let the Pinot go native (we did not inoculate with yeast), gently punched down 2-3 times a day and fermented for 9 days, then drained and pressed to barrel using 100% French oak and 30% new oak using Cavin, Remond, Billon and Damy. We inoculated with Eno Ferm for malolactic fermentation and stirred weekly to enhance mouthfeel. Approximate yield 250 cases, bottling in August.
10/9/13 picked the Chardonnay. It was a somewhat disorganized pick and the grapes didn’t roll into the winery until 10 am. Just like last year, we processed the Chardonnay at Punchdown Cellars and pressed in a Euro Press, settled overnight and barreled down the next day. We brought the barrels back to MacPhail on October 10 to ferment. We inoculated with Eno Ferm for malolactic fermentation and stirred weekly for enhanced mouthfeel. Approximate yield 90 ca

2013 SANGIACOMO ROBERTS ROAD PINOT NOIR & 2013 ROSÉ OF PINOT NOIR

9/26/13 picked all 3 clones at night and received the wine at 7:00 am in the winery. We named the day Sangicomo Day as James from MacPhail and Kerith from Brulium also make Sangicomo Pinot Noirs and all our grapes came in on the same day. We sorted and destemmed our grapes and sent them to tank for a 5 day cold soak. After 2 days, we bled off about 15%, sent it to neutral barrel and inoculated the Rosé. On day 4, we turned off the cooling at the tank and let the must warm up to kick off fermentation. We let the Pinot go native (we did not inoculate with yeast), gently punched down 2-3 times a day and fermented for 9 days, then drained and pressed to barrel using 100% French oak and 30% new oak using Cavin, Remond, Billon and Damy. We allowed for a native malolactic fermentation and stirred weekly to enhance mouthfeel. Rosé - Approximate yield 50 cases. Pinot - Approximate yield: 250 cases.

2013 ANTONIO MOUNTAIN CHARDONNAY

10/9/13 picked the Chardonnay. It was a somewhat disorganized pick and the grapes didn’t roll into the winery until 10 am. Just like last year, we processed the Chardonnay at Punchdown Cellars and pressed in a Euro Press, settled overnight and barreled down the next day. We brought the barrels back to MacPhail on October 10 to ferment, allowing for a native fermentation. We used 100% French oak, 35% new oak using Cavin, Billon and Damy. We also allowed for a native malolactic fermentation and stirred weekly for enhanced mouthfeel. Approximate yield: 90 cases.