2019 Napa Valley Harvest

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William Gladstone
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2019 Napa Valley Harvest

#1 Post by William Gladstone » October 2nd, 2019, 2:14 pm

Once again it seems that Napa has a sensational crop, (amazing how consistent Napa Valley is for grape growing compared to Bordeaux and Burgundy.)
as one wine maker reported :
As the vineyard workers slice through the early morning chill, the last of the golden chardonnays are coming off at full maturity.
"The noble Cabernets, and Merlots, are approaching the finish line nearly 32 weeks past their conception (budbreak).
Across the board, yields are slightly lower than what was achieved in 2018, but phenolics are intense and the skin tannin profiles are enormous.
There is practically zero threat of rain for the next 10 days, so the valley will be jumpin’. What a classic vintage this is shaping up to be. Everyone enjoy this sensational harvest season!”

(amazing how consistent the weather condition Napa Valley is for grape growing compared to Bordeaux and Burgundy.)

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Re: 2019 Napa Valley Harvest

#2 Post by JohnP » October 2nd, 2019, 2:49 pm

AG posted a video today talking about interesting 2019 is coming along where as the abundance of quality and quantity will create tremendous opportunity for fruit buyers.
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Re: 2019 Napa Valley Harvest

#3 Post by William Gladstone » October 2nd, 2019, 3:00 pm

How is it that Napa produces such great vintages now - year after year - where as Bordeaux and Burgundy are not nearly as consistent?
I've day dreamed of living in Burgundy - until the hail hits me with baseball size chunks in August..

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Re: 2019 Napa Valley Harvest

#4 Post by jeffruggels » October 2nd, 2019, 3:41 pm

interesting comments on 2017 in that AG video

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Re: 2019 Napa Valley Harvest

#5 Post by William Gladstone » October 2nd, 2019, 4:05 pm

I'm avoiding facing the media's views of the 2017, I'll have to watch that.. I've been avoiding - perhaps thinking it will change?

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Re: 2019 Napa Valley Harvest

#6 Post by NoahR » October 2nd, 2019, 4:45 pm

William Gladstone wrote:
October 2nd, 2019, 4:05 pm
I'm avoiding facing the media's views of the 2017, I'll have to watch that.. I've been avoiding - perhaps thinking it will change?
Lots of people made good wine in 2017 by being well situated, by managing their canopy well and by picking before the fires. But it was a terrible year for a lot of wines and, more importantly, an utterly devastating year for those who live in Northern California. If you look at the Usual Suspects making reviewer-friendly, high octane valley floor wine, it may be as crappy a year as anything in the last 15. But there are lots of exceptions. Good luck picking through them though. It won’t be cast off as badly as 2013 Bordeaux, but probably not a big seller in your market.
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Re: 2019 Napa Valley Harvest

#7 Post by William Gladstone » October 2nd, 2019, 4:55 pm

NoahR wrote:
October 2nd, 2019, 4:45 pm
William Gladstone wrote:
October 2nd, 2019, 4:05 pm
I'm avoiding facing the media's views of the 2017, I'll have to watch that.. I've been avoiding - perhaps thinking it will change?
Lots of people made good wine in 2017 by being well situated, by managing their canopy well and by picking before the fires. But it was a terrible year for a lot of wines and, more importantly, an utterly devastating year for those who live in Northern California. If you look at the Usual Suspects making reviewer-friendly, high octane valley floor wine, it may be as crappy a year as anything in the last 15. But there are lots of exceptions. Good luck picking through them though. It won’t be cast off as badly as 2013 Bordeaux, but probably not a big seller in your market.
Noah, it will not be a big seller in "My Market".. I think you were addressing me, what is "my market"?

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Re: 2019 Napa Valley Harvest

#8 Post by R_Gilbane » October 2nd, 2019, 5:00 pm

I'm taking the under on 2019 in terms of overall quality. Now 1974 was a a bumper crop though. Not sure why we aren't talking more about that one. I can drink that now without any regrets. You can't say that about 2019. BIRD IN THE HAND!
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Re: 2019 Napa Valley Harvest

#9 Post by R_Gilbane » October 2nd, 2019, 5:02 pm

William Gladstone wrote:
October 2nd, 2019, 4:55 pm
NoahR wrote:
October 2nd, 2019, 4:45 pm
William Gladstone wrote:
October 2nd, 2019, 4:05 pm
I'm avoiding facing the media's views of the 2017, I'll have to watch that.. I've been avoiding - perhaps thinking it will change?
Lots of people made good wine in 2017 by being well situated, by managing their canopy well and by picking before the fires. But it was a terrible year for a lot of wines and, more importantly, an utterly devastating year for those who live in Northern California. If you look at the Usual Suspects making reviewer-friendly, high octane valley floor wine, it may be as crappy a year as anything in the last 15. But there are lots of exceptions. Good luck picking through them though. It won’t be cast off as badly as 2013 Bordeaux, but probably not a big seller in your market.
Noah, it will not be a big seller in "My Market".. I think you were addressing me, what is "my market"?

Congrats on making my head explode.
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Re: 2019 Napa Valley Harvest

#10 Post by NoahR » October 2nd, 2019, 6:41 pm

William - what is your market? You’re based in Hawaii and you largely sell across Asia? You’ve spelled it out in various ways in emails to me and on this forum dozens of times. It’s not somehow meant pejoratively.
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Re: 2019 Napa Valley Harvest

#11 Post by William Gladstone » October 2nd, 2019, 6:51 pm

NoahR wrote:
October 2nd, 2019, 6:41 pm
William - what is your market? You’re based in Hawaii and you largely sell across Asia? You’ve spelled it out in various ways in emails to me and on this forum dozens of times. It’s not somehow meant pejoratively.
I did not know what you meant, thank you for explaining,
for clarity sake - it is a changing, ever changing , we move with the world market.
Hawaii is only 5% of our business, Asia used to be a very important part, and during these past years (I'm very poor with being precise about time) with the political , economic and financial changes we do less and less with Asia.
Dubai has been a major important market and U.K. is quite important for us.
As well as some markets in the U.S., major fine wine states in the U.S.

That's why I was not certain of what you meant.
Thanks for explaining.

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Re: 2019 Napa Valley Harvest

#12 Post by Paul Gordon » November 7th, 2019, 7:07 pm

Not a Napa report but with the 2018 crush nearly over (we have 50% of our lots in barrel with the rest to be pressed off in the next 10 days) below are my thoughts on the vintage (from a Mendo perspective). I would be interested in hearing the thoughts of others.

1. Crop for our vineyard was somewhat lower than average. Mainly a result of a very cold May 2018 (when buds for 2019 were being formed).
2. The heavy rain in late May had little effect on crop levels except on Grenache (which always drags out its flowering).
3. The heavy May rain combined with a cool early summer temperatures did raise the mildew pressure.
4. For our vineyard the 2019 summer temps matched 2018 averages. The difference was the warmer temps were in August 2019 vs July 2018. That difference has resulted in moderate malics in 2019 compared to high malic in 2018.
5. Cooler weather hit early in 2019 - our average highs September 15-30th were lower than the average highs for October 1-15th. The early cool did trigger the vines to start their winter shut down a little earlier than normal but due to our lower crop (which ripens earlier) this did not present an issue.
6. Seeds were slow to harden this year - I suspect all that moisture in the ground. The earlier start of vine shut down actually helped here, as it triggered hardening.
7. As others have noted, sugars ran ahead of phenolics (see seed comment above). Alcohols are a little higher than the last couple years.
8. Pick dates were about a week earlier than 2018 except (lower lying) Oppenlander which was two weeks earlier. Altitude seemed to have a greater cooling effect this year.
8. Ferments have been slow to start (we do not inoculated) but once they started they moved fast. I suspect the slow starts are due to cold fruit and a cold winery (due to cold winter/cool summer).
8. First look at the wines shows lots of color, high intensity. I think bigger boned wines more like 2015/16.


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Re: 2019 Napa Valley Harvest

#13 Post by Randy Bowman » November 7th, 2019, 7:32 pm

The wise people will lay in wait to purchase the 2017 and 2019 wines at give away prices because the media has convinced the rest of the buying public that both vintages have smoke taint. In both years, 85 to 90 percent of the crop had been picked. The whites were all in early as were most of the pinots so there is no smoke taint there. Rest assured if there was an identifiable smoke taint molecule there was a cure for it and if not the grapes were dumped or back doored. And the Zin could have been picked and transported to the fire to give them a smokey flavor.
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