2021 was hands down the best vintage I have experienced as a winemaker. From color and tannin, to aromatic pop and fruit intensity, the wines are rock solid, gorgeously youthful and have the tools to lay down for a long, long time. Putting together a blend of sites is probably the most challenging and rewarding part of our jobs as winemakers. I have a tendency to lean into site distinction, and sometimes feel like blending vineyards together like killing a unicorn. The challenge is really to produce a wine where the sum is better than that of individual sites, and in my experience, this takes patience and an open mind.
Throughout the course of aging, we get to know our vineyards and which will mesh well with others. The blending process starts the day the wines are pressed, when we know what we’ve got. It continues in the cellar every time we rack wines, everytime we top barrels, tasting along every step of the way.We begin to start singling out barrels from each lot we think will mesh together. Eventually we have enough information to start mocking up blends with our strongest components. Some vintages make themselves effortlessly while others take a little more patience.
In the end, the wine must meet our expectations as the best wine produced from the year.