It’s always hard to tell how a harvest will turn out. 2012 was fresh and lively from the start, immediately likeable, yet still leaving you wanting to come back for more; its depth and weight, put on gracefully over the year in barrel. 2013 raced away, a horse scared by a crack of thunder, fleshier, yet more reticent. This wine is pretty now, but still angular, like a teenager growing into their body. 2014 was hot. We had no winter and across Southern California the heat of July and August was remorseless, rain was but a bitter memory. Across the Santa Ynez Valley, winemakers were prepping for harvest, fingers itchy on the trigger.
We bottled all 440 cases on August 22nd, with an improved label and our custom logo on the screwcap. No rest for the wicked though, as I brought in the first of 2014’s fruit on the 25th, a full month earlier than 2012, weeks before 2013. Drought conditions caused all of the Pinot vineyards in the area to go from under-ripe to very-ripe in a few days. Many picked early, giving up flavor for bracing acidity, eager to brag about it, like the kid who raises their hand too much in class. Many more picked too late, making super intense, extracted Pinots, like it was 2004. Despite my worries, things turned out great, bringing all of my fruit in at modest sugars, good acidity and nice, clean ferments. The weather gave us good stem lignification, bringing the whole-cluster component up to 33% this year, adding spice and structure.
So, for now, the wines are resting in their barrels, calming down after a hot and busy harvest, and full of potential. I am back at work in LA, planning big things and waiting for my life to go upside-down with our first baby at Christmas. In the meantime, I will be pounding the streets, searching for a home for this Weatherborne wine, hopefully on a shelf or table near you.