December 21, 2009
Steve Pride's 2009 Harvest Synopsis
With the 2009 vintage wines tranquilly resting in barrel, there is finally a moment to reflect on what has been a fabulous year for us here on top of Spring Mountain. The feeling of contentment is particularly strong knowing just how phenomenally concentrated the fruit expression in our 2009 red wines turned out to be. Every lot of Cabernet Sauvignon that came in this year has made a stunning wine. This is in part due to our years of figuring out the idiosyncrasies of each block with the goal of achieving proper vine balance, as well as to having more patience at harvest and bringing in the grapes in smaller lots only when they are ready; we have invested in a lot of smaller 500 gallon fermentors!
The year started off well with no spring frost whatsoever (a huge change compared to 2008). The budbreak in mid April was followed by considerable spring rain that, fortunately, stopped in time for glorious weather during our late-May flowering. We therefore had a full and even fruit set which is something we have not always enjoyed in recent vintages. All the rain water in the soil led to a busy May and June keeping the number of shoots under control. However, a beautiful summer with plenty of sunshine dried things out without any severe heat spells. Veraison was complete by the second week of August which is very typical for us. A warm September transitioned to an October harvest that was all wrapped up by the first week of November. We like when our grapes, in the final stages of ripening, get to experience a week or so of autumn mornings with temperatures in the low forties or high thirties and we got that in the later part of October. In short, 2009 was a beautiful year.
The Cabernet Sauvignon lots are the highlights so far with amazing flavors and a consistency across all lots that we have never seen before. The mellow ripe lushness of the 2008s and the saturated complex intensity of the 2009s remind us of 2002 and 2001 respectively; though there is an elegance to the ripe tannins in 2009 that seems to take this vintage above and beyond 2001.
Please come visit us this winter and taste the 2008s and 2009s out of barrel for yourself. We look forward to seeing you!