Not sure where to initiate reflection. Well, time went by faster than I thought it would. Than it should have. Again, time not letting me delight. Anyway, more optimistically, Katie began by showing my a pump over in a huge stainless tank. We walked around the facility, where she brought me to our barrels. Two French, from two different coopers, both one year old. Medium-plus toast, both, if I’m not mistaken. Katie told me that our approach to OUR Cabernet will be open-top fermenting, for optimal impact on nose, aromatics.
When at the barrels, Katie showed me briefly how to inspect them for mold, and what she said was “buckling.” Both appeared fine, except for the top to one being a bit fragmented. Katie rectified it swiftly. Then, to our fruit. Lagomarsino Cabernet. When in, Katie took me to view, taste. We placed a couple berries on our palates before they flew to the de-stemming machine, sorting belt. I cited a brave note of blueberry, mid-palate. My professor agreed, which made me smile. Maybe I can do this, I thought. The grapes, processed. To the hose, into our beautiful barrels. I’ll admit, the sulfur was a bit unsettling, as it was my first such exposure, nearly making me sick. Katie told me to hold my breath as I, by hand, pushed the grapes to all wooden sides, swirled and stretched their presence. The handfeel of those Cabernet babies in my palm, through fingers, for the first time, unforgettable.
“Now, we have to put in some dry ice,” K said. Wasn’t sure what this did. She explained that it stabilized and regulated the fermentation process, in a respect, or two, more. We placed a couple scoops into a paint bucket, returned to our two barreled Bordeaux babies. Katie had me shake some smoking cubes into both, then stir. She assured me that this cold soaking of the fruit benefited not just the mouthfeel, but the pervasive character of our Cabernet.
Today, confirmed not just that winemaking stands as a path down which I’m now stepping, but as well writing about. My subject, now, certainly, forever: wine, winemaking. Today, watching how this was entirely instinctive, second nature, for my baby sister in addition told me to hold to passion. Life without passion, following it, is merely existing. I’m not here to exist, I’m here to live. Katie showed me that, reinforced life itself in a way that couldn’t be better placed before my immediate space, face. So, here in my office, I remember K’s presence in her office, before and after we were on the facility floor. Katie’s motion in her chair was one of humility, prowess, precision. Raising my glass to my Cabernet cohort, my new lifelong business partner. She also told me not to be locked into any particular flavor profile. Which translates to our continuation, encompassingly, if further considered. Just let all occur. “Much of this is about realistic expectation, and just babysitting,” she said. Just beyond excited to see how the final movement of our wine will mystify palates, as Mom said. And after this bottle, more steps to whoso, Katie’s and my tasting Room.
After class, went down to the St. Francis tasting Room, say hello to my old comrades, brothers. Decided to walk away with 2 Merlots, two Cabs. Research. Presently, 9:44p, sipping the ’08 Wild Oak Cab. Dark, deep, steep edges. Would love for our Cab to offer such, but perhaps with a little more of an opaque center, and edges that don’t offer as much brightness, florescent figure. Maybe I’m holding it wrong, or the light in this studio’s skewed. Anyway, nose: lovely; Black berry, pepper, cigar box, coy mint. Mouth: Cherry, chocolate, black pepper; a wild quality swimming about sides of palate, interesting, enchanting. Back-palate, finish: cherry, certainly of louder lacing, dancing black pepper formations encircling musically wild berries. In whole, this Cabernet, I could sip all night, into wee clock ticks. But, in terms of whoso’s Cab profile, I’d like it to be a bit more contained, focused, flirtatious, MYSTERIOUS. But, like Katie said, let terroir do the talking. Don’t find yourSelf fixated on one arrangement of notes. And, per her urgency, I won’t. Trusting my professor.
Listening to Wine Bar beats, just thinking about what our wine must be doing, thinking, in its wooden cocoon. I know what I want to say through that fruit, Russian River scape, but what are its intentions? I’ll fall asleep thinking of nothing but today. The feel of those grapes. Their taste, the enveloping aromatics of the facility’s sensory agility. Me, now a winemaker. With family. As it ought be. vinoLit, 4ever ... Peace. Love. Life.
10/22/2011, Saturday, NewMike