I spent yesterday afternoon in a small, private vineyard disbudding the trunks, pulling weeds and taping cordons that needed securing to the wire. There were two small ‘helpers’ with me most of the two hours I was out there. They were more interested in me as a new person in their world than in being in the vineyard that they live beside. My hips and back feel the squats and crab walking that I did between some of the vines; I am sure it was good for me.
Today we were in Stan Clarke Vineyard for lab, more of the same motions and counting of buds for a cursory check on how they are doing. I have three new vines in one of my rows and two of the existing plants are just coming on stage seven of the Eichorn-Lorenz System which means there are no inflorescence (flower clusters) to count. After such a lovely couple of afternoons it was impressive to watch the dying petals of the dogwood trees race through the air on the wind that came up not long after I got home; it is pouring hard and we are ensconced inside with the fire on. Even the two cats are inside!
For such a night we have a lovely wine, 2011 ‘a Rina Etna Rosso Girolamo Russo. The nose when we opened the bottle was forest floor: mushrooms, wet organic matter (which is rich and deep, nothing negative), and umami (meaty). This followed through on the palate with a good dose of acidity, more so than the tannins. Now that it has been opened a bit the nose has rose petals and cherry on it. (While inhaling I didn’t realize I tipped the glass as far as I did and the bit of wine that wet my lips smacked of salami!) The palate is quite balanced: tannins, acids and the dark red fruit that joined the deeper flavors first noted.
This wine has two new grapes for us to add to our Wine Century Club list: Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. They are typically grown close together on the slopes of Mt Etna and they are often blended – plantings and blendings are proportional. Apparently Nerello Mascalese is the bolder of the two, can be made into a varietal wine and is the major grape while the Nerello Cappuccio is planted less and a blending grape. The descriptions of the grapes are so close it is amazing that they are considered distinct varietals, but I am sure this has been well established.
This is a medium-light bodied red, probably the lightest red wine I have yet enjoyed! When we eventually head to the Willamette Valley and into California I expect the Pinot Noir that I will like will be something like this… maybe I am just hoping this is what they will be like since I really enjoyed this.