I last presented to the Fresno State Enology Society a couple years ago; so it was great to be invited back to share some new wines. The Spring Semester is usually filled with wine makers showing a broad line-up of offerings, from whites to reds. I designed the tasting to focus on exclusively 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Dry Creek Valley. Here was the lineup (sort of a mini vertical):
2011 Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
2012 Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon (unreleased)
2011 1TL, D. Rafanelli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
2012 1TL, D. Rafanelli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (limited release)
2011 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
2012 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon (unreleased)
The purpose was to show the crowd the differences a year and Mother Nature can make in a wine. Lean and mean 2011s versus plush and fruity 2012s.
As I've stated before, I appreciate the 2011 vintage because it's unique for Dry Creek Valley, with low alcohol and structured tannins and a style that will develop over a very long period. It would be impossible to craft the wines of 2011 in the drought conditions we've experienced the last two seasons. I'm equally enthusiastic about my 2012 wines for the amount of full-bodied fruit, full-palate structure and elegance the wines have have so early in their life.
The crowd favorite was the 2012 1TL, D. Rafanelli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. The enology student favorite was the 2011 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon; remarkable contrasts between these two wines, which as the winemaker, is music to my ears. I've made something for everyone in the crowd to enjoy.
Thanks to the Enology Society for inviting me back and Go Dogs!