VINTAGE 2007 Harvest Notes/ Tasting Notes

All signs pointed to another extended harvest. The growing season was moderate to cool with only a couple of hot spells in June. The biggest factor in 2007 was the very low rainfall. In the Santa Barbara County we received only about 3-4” of rain, about 1/3 of normal; and irrigation was not able to completely make up the deficit. Additionally, very cool weather in May at flowering contributed to a poor fruit set which further reduced anticipated yields from all the vineyards that we source fruit. Pinot Noir suffered the most. Consequently, our net Pinot Noir harvest was down 33% from 2007. Now the good news: despite the extremely low yields and a Labor Day weekend heat spike, harvest took place in beautiful moderate weather, finishing at the middle of November with the last of the Syrah going into barrel. The fruit of all varietals was almost uniformly uneven in berry size on the clusters. Known as “hens and chicks”in English and “millerandage” in French, the very smallest berries are immature – that is, they have no seeds – and produce extremely concentrated juice. As might be expected, though there is less of it, the wines from Chardonnay to Pinot to Syrah are all very intense. There is very high fruit extract, but fortunately the requisite tannins and acidity to provide a framework for the wines. All the wines are currently still in the throes of their malos. Since we don’t add cultures to promote the malolactic fermentations, these finish at their own pace, usually in late spring. Tasting can be a bit tricky until the malos are complete, but it’s safe to say that there will a number of very deeply colored reds and powerful whites in the Tantara stable for 2007. We just wish there were more of it.

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