I’m finally starting to relax into the blurring of all things. Time used to be a neat cup that would fill every year, and I’d drink it down at the same pace. Some years it would fill faster than I could drink and a bit would overflow. But the cup these past two years has begun gushing. 2020 spilled over into 2021. I’ve found myself body-deep, swirling in turbulent currents I alternately fight against, tiring myself, and relax within, soothing myself in their erratic rhythm, knowing I must rest and enjoy.
The 2019 wines in this release are from the before time, when I could worry about that small bit of overflow pooling on the table—before the cup created an ocean. They are from an abundant vintage, when the crop and weather were both generous. All I had to worry about was: did I pick each vineyard block a day too early or too late? Did I press the fermentation at just the right moment? The 2019 wines in this release are structured, refined, and smiling. The Another Shore 2019 seems to express having had a particularly rich and easy life, and is dazzling.
Did you know that the clusters of one vintage are formed during the prior year’s growing season? Dissect a bud in 2018, peek under a microscope, and you will see the tiny primordial clusters of the 2019 vintage curled up like twins in the womb.
Rain was abundant in 2018 and every bit of the vine thrived, including the buds and those nascent cluster primordia. They were welcomed into the sunshine of 2019 amongst a weighty crop. Abundant sunshine yes, but 2019 had no rain as the 2020 vintage formed. Then, as the 2020 harvest came, so did the worst fires and smoke we’ve ever seen. The vines felt this stress, and it marked the fruit with soaring acidity and very concentrated flavors.
The Honeymoon 2020 is a wine of beautiful extremes, born out of this stress. I picture the spirit of this wine as a female warrior leaping down from the sky with lightning streaking from her hair (I know, wild right?). The 2020 Honeymoon is dramatic and gorgeous.
And then there is the Negroamaro Rosato NV no 1 , which is composed of 4 barrels of 2019 and 1 barrel of 2020. It is an absolutely stunning wine and graceful bridge between the two vintages. Perhaps the cycles of life are longer than a year, and less neatly contained to one vintage than we’d like to imagine.
As 2020 blurred into 2021 suddenly Tim and I are in the midst of harvest. By the time you read this, all of the 2021 wines will have finished fermentation. We continue to be in an intense drought and this vintage has its challenges, perhaps hungover from 2020...but then again, most of these vines have been around for over 70 years, and like trees show tough and rich years in the rings of their wood. I see my own journey through life these past few years as running parallel to the life of these vines and the spirit of these wines. It makes sense. They are my livelihood and provide the fruit for my creative expression. This harvest I’ve begun enjoying the blurring of all things—Tim and I find ourselves laughing in the cellar again despite the fact that little has changed in the outside world, and I find myself simply relaxing in the turbulence and enjoying the act of living.
Thank you for enjoying these wines for exactly what they are.