Tonight we went out to vineyard and checked on the plants and how they survived the winter. We also checked some vines that had some of their canes buried to see how they compared. There was noticeable dieback with pale green phloem tissue in the canes above ground. The canes below ground were healthy with no dieback and plenty of dark green phloem. It appears the above ground vines were suffering from the cold and wind this Spring. Overall, it looks like most of the vines in the South vineyard are doing fairly well. We should know better over the next month as bud break begins to occur. In the wine tasting class we discovered that our aroma analyses are showing some signs of improvement after 5 weeks of practice. We compared our 2009 Drought Stressed White wines from UNR. Most everybody was pleased with these wines. Some people were very pleased! The 2009 drought-stressed Gewurztraminer was the winner for the night. Hope to see you next week.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Last night we continued with our class with a lecture on grapevine anatomy, grapevine development and varietal selection. We also started a video edition that will hopefully be part of an on-line course in the near future. Thank you Robert Moore for putting this together! We tasted drought-stressed red wines from UNR. There was a strong consensus for two wines especially, the 2009 Lemberger and the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, lots of dark color and firm tannins, with good fruit and complex aromas! The week before, we tasted our UNR whites and Gewurztraminer was a clear winner. We continued with the aroma training and testing. We had five people get all six aromas correct last night (including moi!). So there are definitely signs of improvement. Hurray!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Last night, we started class with an introduction to what areas are good for growing grapes and how to select a vineyard site. We continued our program on aroma training. There was noticeable improvement in our second week. We had three people get all six aromas correctly this week, my own score improved from 2 out of 6 to 4 out of 6! So the results are very encouraging after just two weeks. Lets see if the trend continues! We tasted all of the 6 red varieties made in 2009. They were all outstanding and there were clearly differences of opinions as to which wine was the favorite. My personal favorite this time was the Merlot. However, everyone agreed that there were no bad wines and that this was by far the best wine tasting ever! We experimented with a classic Bordeaux blend, mixing Merlot with Cabernet Franc (50/50). Everyone agreed that this improved flavors and aromas beyond what each wine offered individually. If you missed this tasting, I am sorry, because you missed a very good one!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Last night at class we provided an overview of the UNR wine and grape research program. We also discussed some specifics about unique characteristics of Gewurztraminer grapes. We also started an aroma training program where we smelled Gewurztraminer wines with added aromas including lemon, lime, apple, pear, lychee, and honey. Then we were tested on what aromas we smelled in unlabeled glasses. As it turns out we all had room for improvement (especially me!), with the average person getting 3 out of the 6 aromas correctly. The goal of this program is to repeat this each week until we can get all of us smelling correctly! Hopefully we at least see some improvement. After that we tasted some Gewurztraminers from 2005 to 2009. The majority of the people preferred the 2005. It appears that our Gewurztraminers are ageing well.