Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Tonight we discussed the principles of pruning and optimizing crop yield and quality. After that we did a unique tasting of 7 bottles of Chardonnay with different oak varieties and toast levels (American, Hungarian and French) (Medium and Medium plus). Everyone agreed that the non-oaked wine was had nice fruit aroma and slight acidity. When the wines were oaked, the oak aromas and slight acidity disappeared. The wines had a long-finish and each of the oaks had a different character. The French oaks could be characterized with a certain sweetness, the American oak with some extra roughness and the Hungarian oak somewhere in between. Except for the American oak, the medium plus toast was slightly softer and finer than the medium toast.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Tonight we demonstrated how to prune the vines. We went out into the vineyard and observed bud break and bud swell. After that we did a tasting of 3 red wines from UNR. They were all tasted blind. There were three duplicates. I am glad to say that almost everybody was able to detect and match the duplicate wine. We tasted the 2009 Pinot Meunier, Lemberger and Cabernet Franc. All wines were good and the Pinot Meunier was the favorite. It was outstanding in the 2009 vintage.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Last night we started our class on a description of pruning procedures. This will probably be a series of 3 or more lectures before we completely cover pruning. Next week, we will go out to the vineyard for a demonstration of pruning. Our aroma tasting continued with some improvements in testing. We compared some locally grown hybrid wines with our UNR vineyard vinifera wines. Bill Coplin was kind enough to bring two of his own hybrid wines, 2009 Frontenac and 2009 St. Croix and a Frontenac from Tahoe Ridge. We tasted the 2009 Well-Watered and Drought-Stressed Lembergers (both oaked) and a 2009 Merlot (not oaked). The vinifera grapes were more popular than the hybrids. Both the Merlot and the Drought-Stressed Lemberger were considered the favorites.