Eat, Drink, Love
A message from Michelle -
We hope you all are enjoying the beginnings of a new year and that 2023 is full of delicious food, great wine, and plenty of harmony!
The end of 2022 found Jamey and I finally taking our 'honeymoon' after 17 years of marriage. As most of you know, we blended families in 2005 with a 3, 4, and 5 year old in attendance on our wedding day. The long, romantic vacation was put on the back burner for 'a little while', we told ourselves. In 2007 we welcomed our fourth child. In 2010 we began renovations on the Whetstone Chateau... 'maybe just a little while longer', we said.
Don't get me wrong, we traveled. Jamey and I enjoyed our quick getaways and we have great memories of family vacations over the years.
2022 found us all able to travel freely again. We enjoyed hearing about all of your adventures and seeing your posts from around the world. Now it was our turn!
Upon our return as the end of 2022 approached, it was time for some reflection; keeping up a 19th century chateau has its challenges. Sometimes, I don't look at it through rose-colored glasses like our guests do. Our time in Europe gave me a whole new appreciation for what we have at Whetstone - leaks, cracks, and all. Worn staircases reminded me of the worn staircase at Whetstone and the thousands of shoes that have given it character over the last 10 years. I was thinking of refinishing them, until Paris...
So, my plans for 2023? More travel (of course), being present (always a work in progress), and seeing things through rose colored glasses (hopefully they come in 2.00 readers) and raising a glass more often with our extended Whetstone family!
A message from Jamey -
So. Much. Rain! Hallelujah!!! After a decade, more or less, of drought conditions, we are turning a corner this winter seeing lots of green growth under vine and snowpack in Tahoe.
More rosé? Heard. We doubled the amount from 2021. Ron Silva farms the Grenache that makes up the 2022 vintage and is a wonderful oracle on all things Lodi. Funny anecdote: Alli, Danyel, Jenna, and Michelle kept coming up with Juicy Fruit as a descriptor. I didn't include it in the "official" tasting notes below, but feel we are all close enough by now to pull back the curtain on our musins, just a little bit.
I'm pretty fired up about the '21s. The Viognier will cellar longer than usual due to some timely acidity stemming from a mild summer. The Pleasant Hill is brimming with exciting nuances of a maturing vineyard.
Winemaker’s Vineyard Notes: Located outside the small Lodi town of Galt. Redding gravelly clay loam soils. 40 degree temperature swings help balance fruit with acidity. 100% Grenache. Dry winter, chilly spring with some frost damage in parts of Lodi. Normal summer with a smidge of rain in early June. Harvested 3.3 tons.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes: Stainless steel fermented and aged. Lighter shade of watermelon in color. Very ripe nose of passion fruit, watermelon Jolly Rancher, papaya, and guava. Background aromas of rose petal and Meyer lemon peel. Ripe, delicious flavors of papaya, wild strawberry and Cara Cara oranges. Finishes long and bright with hints of passion fruit and citrus peel.
Cases Produced: 200
Harvest Date: September 9th, 2022
Winemaker’s Vineyard Notes: Sustainably farmed, cool climate site, river cobbles and Goldridge loam soils. Dry winter, mild spring and summer with handful of days in the low 100s. Harvested 4.4 tons.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes: Barrel fermented in neutral French oak and aged for 16 months sur lees. Golden straw in color. GiNORMous nose of ripe peach, pineapple, and banana runts. Background aromas of honeysuckle, tarragon, mint and a hint of licorice. Tangy flavors of Meyer lemon, peach liqueur, and mandarin orange. Finishes long and unusually bright with hints of ginger, liquid minerals and citrus peel.
Cases Produced: 230
Harvest Date: September 22, 2021
Winemaker’s Vineyard Notes: Sustainably farmed, cool climate vineyard site, Goldridge loam soils. Dry winter, mild spring and summer with handful of days in the low 100s. Normal yields, half 667 & half 115 clones. Harvested 7.3 tons.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes: Stainless steel fermented, aged for 16 months sur lees in 100% French oak; 25% new oak. Darker shade of garnet in color. Big, expressive nose of Bing cherry cola, wild mint, cotton candy and red meats. Secondary aromas of Chinese 5 spice and cinnamon. Lush, velvety flavors of dark cherry, blueberry and elderberry pie. Finishes long with silky tannins and hints of ripe plum and caramel.
Cases Produced: 450
Harvest Date: September 14th, 2021