Monday, November 15, 2004

Careful readers have no doubt noted (but somehow have failed to mention the fact) that there has been no discussion this fall of the harvest, no talk of wily maneuvering to get my hands on killer grapes free, as is my policy; no explications on crushing, stemming, water additions, cold-soaks, enzyme additions, nutrient deficiencies, stuck fermentations or barrel management; no winemaking chatter at all.

I made my first wine in 1998. It was 2000 when I finally had a little bit of knowledge and some good grapes to risk it on. That ended up being 15 cases of better-than-average Knight's Valley mountain Merlot. Oh-One was the year Casey Hartlip gave away the farm, bestowing upon me a barrel's worth each of staggeringly good Sangiovese and Cabernet from Eaglepoint Ranch, high in the mountains east of Talmage. Two-thousand two, another couple of barrels were called into service, filled with Zinfandel and Pinot Noir, thanks to Greg Nelson -- God I love those Mendo farmers -- and in '03 Greg offered up Cab.

So why no 2004s in the garage finding their way through malolactic, nearly ready for racking? Too damn much was going in my life. Too much drama, at home and at work; too much triathlon and marathon. And one other thing, which is going to sound strange, but it's true: the garage is a fucking mess and until it gets cleaned (an interesting use of the passive there) there will be NO MORE GRAPES CRUSHED!
What's Happening Over There
It took my good friend Infospigot just a few quick numbers to make the point about exactly how tough the fight for Fallujah has been. So far. Check it out. Reading the post woke me from a post-election war slumber, so later in the day I made rare forays into the land of TV news. I was damn near reduced to tears as the NewsHour rolled 20 names and pictures past, mostly young men, a few guys in their mid-40s, Marines, Army, fathers, sons, brothers, husbands -- you know the story, all dead. Then I flipped to CNN and without realizing what was being shown, assuming it was more or less random war footage, I saw an American soldier note that an Iraqi wounded might not actually be dead, coldly pump a bullet into the prostrate body, then announce, "He's dead now." And the really scary thing is you know that this ridiculous pointless evil shit is not going to end anytime soon.