Linden Update | September 2017
Vintage 2017 Progress Report
It has been a well-paced harvest so far at Linden Vineyards. Most of the white varieties are “in the barn”, perking along. Fruity, yeasty aromas waft up to the tasting room. The sound of bubbling fermentation is soothing, especially at the end of a long day.
Most of the month of September we were under constant threat of hurricane remnants. This is a winegrower’s worst fear. Ground soaking rains stimulate vine roots. The roots then pump water into the grapes resulting in dilution and sometimes rot. Harvey, Irma, Maria, Jose (did I leave anyone out?) were not welcome guests. Fortunately they were no-shows. I must admit that the threat itself led to many a sleepless night.
I’m sleeping well now. This week is all about Merlot. The weather forecast is near perfect allowing us to bring in some very ripe grapes at a leisurely pace. It has been awhile since we were afforded this luxury. Dry, warm conditions are ideal for the red grapes. With all this talk about hurricane rains, it is hard to believe that the ground is actually bone dry. The pond level is starting to drop. Tree leaves are falling a bit pre-maturely, and the vines look ready to surrender their fruit. All are very encouraging signs for a powerful red vintage.
As far as wine style, it looks like the whites will be classic “Linden”, with moderate alcohols, high acidity and lots of verve. Very different than the 2016 vintage. This is true also for Rosé. It is too early to speculate on the reds, but we know we have some fabulously ripe Merlot coming in this week. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot still need a week or two before they are ready, so the weather in early October will have a significant influence on their quality.