We made brilliant innovations to our farming
of our old-vine Napa vineyards in 2009. We woke up and decided to
shoot thin and leaf them. Guman is usually so far from vigorous
that the point of thinning there is to remove weak shoots that are
only sapping the whole plant, and diminishing its ability to ripen
healthy fruit. But the tree-like old Sauvignon Blanc vines of Glos
push a proliferation of shoots that fight with each other for sun
and air. And worse, the interplanted Merlot shades the ripening
SB. All this congestion and obscurity encourages rot in the fruit
and keeps some of it from ripening promptly. Our thinning in Glos
had wonderful results: we harvested a third again more fruit in
2009 than we had in any previous year.
And the resulting wine is superb. It is fresh and serious at once.
Glos is never much like California Sauvignon Blanc; nor iis it even
much like its cousin in the cellar, LSB.
It is luxurious in its power and intensity; not severe or challenging.
This vintage has the length, depth and complexity of 2004 and
2005, and the sunny freshness of 2008. It is beautiful now, and
And lest it seem that we are getting too excited about a little
bit of white wine, we mention this: the 2009 is the penultimate
wine from these vines, planted 50 years ago by Albert Mcdowell.
The whole vineyard will be replanted after harvest 2010. The wines
that we are making now will be its memorial.