ValleyFogBlog


Harvest 2009 Special: 10% Off by valleyfog
October 1, 2009, 10:53 pm
Filed under: Promotions | Tags: , , , ,
La Encantada Vineyard in Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County

La Encantada Vineyard in Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County

Harvest is in full swing and we’re seeing so much gorgeous pinot noir fruit pass before our eyes on the sorting table, during punchdowns and juice with such vibrant colors during pressing, it just makes you want to bust open a great bottle of pinot noir. So after we get home from winery work, we’ve been enjoying our 2007 wines that have really started to show quite well after a year in the bottle. To celebrate a great harvest and a busy crush, Jennifer and I wanted to offer 10% off our Waits-Mast Pinot Noir from La Encantada Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills, down Santa Barbara way.

The Harvest Special is available at our webstore for a limited time only, now through Monday, October 5, 2009. Just enter the word “harvest” in the coupon code box and click “submit,” then proceed to checkout to get 10% off this wine only. For SF Bay Area locals, save on shipping by choosing “pick up/local” on the shipping page and you can pick up your order at the Crushpad logistics center here.

Pinot Noir clusters at La Encantada vineyard

Pinot Noir clusters at La Encantada vineyard

From the Santa Rita Hills, La Encantada vineyard is owned by Richard and Thekla Sanford (of Sanford Pinot Noir fame) and is one of the first vineyards in Santa Barbara County to be certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). We visited the vineyards last year and you can read more about our visit here.

Tasting notes:

This wine demonstrates an intensity of fruit – basically a bowl full of cherries – that comes from this low-vigor growing climate. Grape clusters came in uniform and tight, with small-medium sized berries. It shows a hint of smoke and spice on the nose, some good tannins and a deep ruby color, leaning towards crimson. The palate unfolds with lush sweet cherry and blackberries, spice, floral notes and a hint of cola. Still evolving its in sophomore year (you never want to peak early), the La Encantada has great structure and will be a great wine for sharing with friends and for tucking away in the cellar.

Bottlenotes, May, 2009: “Zaozers this smells good. Rich aromas of red and black cherry complimented by vanilla. Full cherry flavor and oak treatment lead to a long finish. Yum.”

For more specs on the wine, go here.

Cheers and here’s to a great harvest!

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2009 Harvest Has Begun by Jennifer
Amber Ridge (115) Awaiting Sorting

Amber Ridge (115) Awaiting Sorting

With all of the Waits-Mast 2008 Pinots settling into their bottles, our thoughts have eagerly turned to the 2009 harvest. With some late Spring rains and a consistently warm and dry summer, this year is shaping up to be a great harvest.

Of the different vineyards from which we source fruit, our Russian River grapes, from Amber Ridge vineyard in Windsor, California,  are usually the first to be harvested. This year was no exception; on September 9th we welcomed and sorted the first of our fruit: Dijon clone 115 from Amber Ridge. We work a lot with 115 as our base clone because of the more elegant red fruit and floral characteristics. From there, we build and integrate other clones to add structure and complexity.

The fruit was beautiful and it was our daughter’s first trip up the ladder to the sorting table. She dug right in and loved the taste of the fruit (but complained about her sticky fingers). Brian built up his right bicep while hold her in one hand and sorting fruit with the other! We’re not kidding when we say Waits-Mast “Family” Cellars.

Our Winemaker-in-Training at Her First Sort

Our Winemaker-in-Training at Her First Sort

Building on the 115, on September 11th we hand-sorted the 667 and 777 clones from Amber Ridge. The 667 provides great backbone for the final blend and the 777 adds that punch of fruit to round out the variety of berry flavors. Off on a secret mission to find more Pinot Noir fruit sources, we tapped our friend Bryce to help us sort the fruit that day.

He reported that the fruit was in great shape and that the 777 in particular was “pristine” and  “absolutely stunning,” commenting that “if all grapes tasted this way, I would survive on nothing else.” Wow. We’re sorry we missed the sort, but are pleased to hear this.

This year, we are doing two barrels of Amber Ridge, which allows us a little more versatility in working with these clones, oak and yeast, among other components. It also give us some more flexibility in the final blending process. It’s almost done with fermentation and the last of the sugars are converting to alchohol, so later this week we’ll be pressing the Amber Ridge…probably on the same day that we’ll be bringing in the “secret” fruit from Anderson Valley. More to come on that in our next harvest update!