End of Harvest

The end of October did bring the end of harvest for Selene and Bressler.  Bressler Cabernet was picked on the 22nd of October.  Just before a weekend of warm winds, which being up in western St. Helena, it really didn’t need to go through another couple of days of warm dry winds.  We got the fruit off in real good condition.  David Abreu who farms the vineyard often times will pick Bressler at night.  I believe they started at 4am and were done picking just as the sun was coming up.  The fruit that went down to Laird to be crushed was nice and cold, so after crushing in the tank, I decided (since the fruit was so yummy, juicy and cool) to let it soak over the weekend before we began fermentation the following week.

The last pick for Selene, the Dead Fred Cabernet, was picked on the following Monday.  That vineyard, which is down in Coombsville area of Napa, is a little cooler than St. Helena and it benefited from the warm dry winds of the weekend.  We got just a hair over 25 brix in the tank, with wonderful flavors and concentration.  It was a morning pick, but wasn’t quite as cold as the Bressler pick.  I didn’t think it needed any more than usual skin contact, so we got the fermentation started the next day.  It actually finished (fermentation) a little ahead of the Bressler because it started a little warmer.  We let both of them sit on skins a little past dryness.  Bressler was 18 days on skins and the Selene was 22 days on skins before pressing.

We took some little press cuts in the beginning of pressing.  I like to look at the clarity right after the press gets loaded.  Often times that first little bit that just dribbles out has quite a bit of solids in it, so I like to separate that out.  I also like to separate the heart of the press before the pressure gets high, because it is really good juice.   We normally keep it separate for a little bit, but many times that portion gets blended back.  We definitely keep that first bit that has the high solids separate from the free run. 

Basically we have all our reds going through malolactic in barrel right now.  The Sauvignon Blanc is finished with primary fermentation and is aging on lees, with stirring every couple of weeks.  That’s how we finished up our harvest this year.