2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

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JohnP
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2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#1 Post by JohnP » June 7th, 2019, 9:14 am

A tad premature I know, as most 2017 SV cabs are just now being bottled, but I can't help wondering what the winemakers are thinking of their 2018 Napa is barrel. Does it compare to where 2013 was at this stage? I've now heard from a few wineries who strongly feel it could be their best vintage to date. Any thoughts please weight in over. [thankyou.gif]
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#2 Post by Anton D » June 7th, 2019, 9:44 am

Vintage of the century!

In all seriousness, I keep hearing it was good.

I think Roy Piper describes it on a recent thread.
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#3 Post by Brian Tuite » June 7th, 2019, 10:00 am

Anton D wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 9:44 am
Vintage of the century!
This
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#4 Post by dsimmons » June 7th, 2019, 11:20 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 10:00 am
Anton D wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 9:44 am
Vintage of the century!
This
This is like the 4th one in the last 5 years right [cheers.gif]
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#5 Post by Anton D » June 7th, 2019, 11:31 am

dsimmons wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 11:20 am
Brian Tuite wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 10:00 am
Anton D wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 9:44 am
Vintage of the century!
This
This is like the 4th one in the last 5 years right [cheers.gif]
Vintages of the century are similar to warmest years in history....happening a lot more frequently of late.

Smoke taint has been a bigger problem than weather.
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#6 Post by Mike Kuller » June 7th, 2019, 11:38 am

2018 had perfect growing conditions.

Should be much better than the 2017s (smoke in some areas, big heat spike everywhere) and maybe all of the 2000s.

So maybe vintage of the decade.

I've stopped buying most 2017s and will stock up on the 2018s.
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#7 Post by Scott Brunson » June 7th, 2019, 11:46 am

dsimmons wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 11:20 am
Brian Tuite wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 10:00 am
Anton D wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 9:44 am
Vintage of the century!
This
This is like the 6th one in the last 5 years right [cheers.gif]
Fify neener
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#8 Post by Justin P » June 7th, 2019, 11:46 am

It really has been one of best vintages since I have been in the industry.

Long and slow growing season allowed for great choices on picks and no big rushes based on rain or heat.
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#9 Post by Nate Simon » June 7th, 2019, 11:51 am

I’ve heard that quality is good but also huge crops. Could be premature, but it’s not unreasonable to expect supply/demand to favor the consumer.

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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#10 Post by Hao Lu » June 7th, 2019, 1:06 pm

when every vintage has been epic, do i need a cellar at all?

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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#11 Post by Merrill Lindquist » June 7th, 2019, 1:10 pm

Nate Simon wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 11:51 am
I’ve heard that quality is good but also huge crops. Could be premature, but it’s not unreasonable to expect supply/demand to favor the consumer.
Not sure about your supply/demand statement, but I can agree that it was an easy vintage to farm, barrel samples are excellent, and yes, the crops in some places were huge.
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#12 Post by Scott Brunson » June 8th, 2019, 5:21 am

Nate Simon wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 11:51 am
I’ve heard that quality is good but also huge crops. Could be premature, but it’s not unreasonable to expect supply/demand to favor the consumer.
Wanna bet regarding stable prices vs. increased prices? [snort.gif]

I'm not whining btw; business is business.
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#13 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 8th, 2019, 5:29 am

I’m hearing them saying, cha-ching, 25% increase to the market, 30% increase to Alan.

$250 is the new $175.

Don’t check my math. I’m a lawyer.

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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#14 Post by Alan Eden » June 8th, 2019, 5:50 am

Well you cant expect poor winery owners to not increase prices, after all just because you get 30% extra free fruit the corks have gone up by 40 cents so we need an across the board $15 a bottle increase
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#15 Post by Brian Tuite » June 8th, 2019, 6:20 am

Alan Eden wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 5:50 am
Well you cant expect poor winery owners to not increase prices, after all just because you get 30% extra free fruit the corks have gone up by 40 cents so we need an across the board $15 a bottle increase
Your contract is for a 1 acre block. You pay 18,000/T. If the vineyard produces 4T/Acre your fruit cost is $72,000 (don’t worry, I checked my math). If there is a 30% increase in crop size your fruit bill is now $93,600. You have to order 30% more glass, corks, capsules, labels, barrels (oops too late, you needed to do that 3-6 months ago), pay for 30% more tank space, 30% more winery labor, 30% more tax, 30% more cold storage space. Oh and now you have to find 30% more customers to buy all that “free” wine. Piece of cake, just write another check, sit on the extra wine that doesn’t sell or blend it into something, you’re a rich winery owner. Did I mention, all those bills come due 18 months before you even sell one drop. Then a critic decides it’s not a good vintage and nobody buys. So you sell the rest off to a distributor for 40¢ on the dollar and it shows up at retail for 25% lower than your release price and all your customers get pissed off.

But there’s always next year!
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#16 Post by Merrill Lindquist » June 8th, 2019, 6:39 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 6:20 am
Alan Eden wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 5:50 am
Well you cant expect poor winery owners to not increase prices, after all just because you get 30% extra free fruit the corks have gone up by 40 cents so we need an across the board $15 a bottle increase
Your contract is for a 1 acre block. You pay 18,000/T. If the vineyard produces 4T/Acre your fruit cost is $72,000 (don’t worry, I checked my math). If there is a 30% increase in crop size your fruit bill is now $93,600. You have to order 30% more glass, corks, capsules, labels, barrels (oops too late, you needed to do that 3-6 months ago), pay for 30% more tank space, 30% more winery labor, 30% more tax, 30% more cold storage space. Oh and now you have to find 30% more customers to buy all that “free” wine. Piece of cake, just write another check, sit on the extra wine that doesn’t sell or blend it into something, you’re a rich winery owner. Did I mention, all those bills come due 18 months before you even sell one drop. Then a critic decides it’s not a good vintage and nobody buys. So you sell the rest off to a distributor for 40¢ on the dollar and it shows up at retail for 25% lower than your release price and all your customers get pissed off.

But there’s always next year!
Well done, Brian. Very well done! champagne.gif
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#17 Post by Tom DeBiase » June 8th, 2019, 6:56 am

I assume that 2018 Napa quality will be similar to Sonoma. Every winemaker I have spoken to on the Sonoma side say that 2018 is the overall best vintage in a long time. Reasons, ZERO HEAT SPIKES, LONG GROWING SEASON, LITTLE MILDEW - MOLD ISSUES, NO MAD DASH TO PICK. Just last week John Raytek of Ceritas told me at his Pick Up Event that "2018 was the best vintage in the past 25 years".
I'm sure there were some small micro climates where certain grape varieties had some problems but there were not many of those.

From another practical perspective, we live in the heart of Sonoma County, half way between Petaluma and Cloverdale and I can tell you the weather in 2018 was spectacular. The temp never went over 95 and many (most) days didn't come close to that. Made for a really enjoyable summer and fall.

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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#18 Post by Nate Simon » June 8th, 2019, 11:16 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 6:20 am
Alan Eden wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 5:50 am
Well you cant expect poor winery owners to not increase prices, after all just because you get 30% extra free fruit the corks have gone up by 40 cents so we need an across the board $15 a bottle increase
Your contract is for a 1 acre block. You pay 18,000/T. If the vineyard produces 4T/Acre your fruit cost is $72,000 (don’t worry, I checked my math). If there is a 30% increase in crop size your fruit bill is now $93,600. You have to order 30% more glass, corks, capsules, labels, barrels (oops too late, you needed to do that 3-6 months ago), pay for 30% more tank space, 30% more winery labor, 30% more tax, 30% more cold storage space. Oh and now you have to find 30% more customers to buy all that “free” wine. Piece of cake, just write another check, sit on the extra wine that doesn’t sell or blend it into something, you’re a rich winery owner. Did I mention, all those bills come due 18 months before you even sell one drop. Then a critic decides it’s not a good vintage and nobody buys. So you sell the rest off to a distributor for 40¢ on the dollar and it shows up at retail for 25% lower than your release price and all your customers get pissed off.

But there’s always next year!
Brian, do you know if a contract for tonnage or for acreage is more common? Obviously, if it’s an acreage contract, that changes the economics substantially.

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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#19 Post by Neal.Mollen » June 8th, 2019, 11:23 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 6:20 am
Alan Eden wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 5:50 am
Well you cant expect poor winery owners to not increase prices, after all just because you get 30% extra free fruit the corks have gone up by 40 cents so we need an across the board $15 a bottle increase
Your contract is for a 1 acre block. You pay 18,000/T. If the vineyard produces 4T/Acre your fruit cost is $72,000 (don’t worry, I checked my math). If there is a 30% increase in crop size your fruit bill is now $93,600. You have to order 30% more glass, corks, capsules, labels, barrels (oops too late, you needed to do that 3-6 months ago), pay for 30% more tank space, 30% more winery labor, 30% more tax, 30% more cold storage space. Oh and now you have to find 30% more customers to buy all that “free” wine. Piece of cake, just write another check, sit on the extra wine that doesn’t sell or blend it into something, you’re a rich winery owner. Did I mention, all those bills come due 18 months before you even sell one drop. Then a critic decides it’s not a good vintage and nobody buys. So you sell the rest off to a distributor for 40¢ on the dollar and it shows up at retail for 25% lower than your release price and all your customers get pissed off.

But there’s always next year!
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#20 Post by GregT » June 8th, 2019, 11:57 am

I've now heard from a few wineries who strongly feel it could be their best vintage to date.
How does that differ from what happens every year?

What I'm really wondering is 2019 Napa - what are the wine makers saying?
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#21 Post by NickRut » June 8th, 2019, 12:29 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 6:20 am
Alan Eden wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 5:50 am
Well you cant expect poor winery owners to not increase prices, after all just because you get 30% extra free fruit the corks have gone up by 40 cents so we need an across the board $15 a bottle increase
Your contract is for a 1 acre block. You pay 18,000/T. If the vineyard produces 4T/Acre your fruit cost is $72,000 (don’t worry, I checked my math). If there is a 30% increase in crop size your fruit bill is now $93,600. You have to order 30% more glass, corks, capsules, labels, barrels (oops too late, you needed to do that 3-6 months ago), pay for 30% more tank space, 30% more winery labor, 30% more tax, 30% more cold storage space. Oh and now you have to find 30% more customers to buy all that “free” wine. Piece of cake, just write another check, sit on the extra wine that doesn’t sell or blend it into something, you’re a rich winery owner. Did I mention, all those bills come due 18 months before you even sell one drop. Then a critic decides it’s not a good vintage and nobody buys. So you sell the rest off to a distributor for 40¢ on the dollar and it shows up at retail for 25% lower than your release price and all your customers get pissed off.

But there’s always next year!
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#22 Post by crickey » June 8th, 2019, 2:48 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 6:20 am
Alan Eden wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 5:50 am
Well you cant expect poor winery owners to not increase prices, after all just because you get 30% extra free fruit the corks have gone up by 40 cents so we need an across the board $15 a bottle increase
Your contract is for a 1 acre block. You pay 18,000/T. If the vineyard produces 4T/Acre your fruit cost is $72,000 (don’t worry, I checked my math). If there is a 30% increase in crop size your fruit bill is now $93,600. You have to order 30% more glass, corks, capsules, labels, barrels (oops too late, you needed to do that 3-6 months ago), pay for 30% more tank space, 30% more winery labor, 30% more tax, 30% more cold storage space. Oh and now you have to find 30% more customers to buy all that “free” wine. Piece of cake, just write another check, sit on the extra wine that doesn’t sell or blend it into something, you’re a rich winery owner. Did I mention, all those bills come due 18 months before you even sell one drop. Then a critic decides it’s not a good vintage and nobody buys. So you sell the rest off to a distributor for 40¢ on the dollar and it shows up at retail for 25% lower than your release price and all your customers get pissed off.

But there’s always next year!
Alan's raising an interesting point that you more or less blew right past: the difference between fixed and variable costs. Your post implies that everything is a variable cost, so each additional unit costs the same as each other. Alan's post assumed the opposite, or rather that some of the costs were fixed or that at the least ordering 30% more glass, corks, barrels, etc. does not add 30% to your costs. The major assumption in Alan's post is that the winemaker/seller owns the grapes. So, for instance, we frequently hear tales that because of a poor crop, the price per unit must go up because there is less volume to cover the fixed costs. Presumably, the reverse should be true: that with a bumper crop, price per unit should go down (sadly, it does not appear to work that way among higher-end wines). That logic is based on the assumption that the cost of growing the grapes is relatively fixed (land cost won't vary and labor cost is relatively fixed whether a crop is small or large for a given parcel of land), and so would most apply where the winemaker also owns the grapes, like Bordeaux and many estates in California. The other major assumption in his post is standard economics: that more production should lower the price because you would be moving down the demand curve. You alluded to that with your need to "find 30% more customers." It's called lowering the price.

Obviously, there is a significant difference between winemakers who own the grapes and ones who purchase it. The most interesting thing I took from your post, assuming it is correct, is that grape purchasers buy by volume (or mass) even if the contract is on a defined parcel of land. That means that the grower takes all of the economic benefits and risks of the crop production. There is no particular reason for that distribution of risk and rewards as between seller and buyer; I could just as easily envisage a system where the buyer agrees to pay a fixed amount for the production of a defined parcel (and so would take all of the risks and rewards of a production), or anywhere in between.

I hope you realize how counterintuitive your post was from an economic point of view, as it implies you are better off with less product to sell than more. However, if your marginal costs really are constant, you very well may be better off with less product to sell as you want to sell where the marginal cost equals the marginal revenue, which in your case may be at a low volume, as at higher volumes, each additional sale eats into your profit margin.
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#23 Post by Merrill Lindquist » June 8th, 2019, 3:40 pm

GregT wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 11:57 am
I've now heard from a few wineries who strongly feel it could be their best vintage to date.
How does that differ from what happens every year?

What I'm really wondering is 2019 Napa - what are the wine makers saying?
You are testy this week, Mr. T.

2019 Napa Cab is on the vine, and depending on location, starting, in the middle of, or completing bloom. Moving to fruit set. Your guess is as good as anyone's...but you knew that.
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#24 Post by GregT » June 8th, 2019, 4:10 pm

Nah, I think it's just too much time on my hands.

But my guess is not anywhere near as good as someone who makes a living writing about and predicting such things! I'm waiting for some real critics to tell me whether I'm supposed to like the wines or not!

More seriously, in South Cal there's been record rain (and mosquitoes too). Same thing up your way?
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#25 Post by D.Callahan » June 8th, 2019, 4:38 pm

If your business plan is well conceived and executed a bumper crop should earn you more money as long as you can sell the wine. If you have a supply/demand curve that you are normally on the short supply side of (more people waiting to get on your list e.g.) you should be able to absorb some or all the excess supply. Thus the "cult" wines with big waiting lists (Scarecrow, etal.) are set to take advantage of the glut more profitably than wineries running closer to the demand curve. It pays to be famous and/or get those 100 point ratings.

UNLESS you are saying your variable (per unit) costs change once you are dealing with more than your normal production. In other words the corks, bottles, labels etc. suddenly cost more each. That condition does not sound like a business I want to be part of.
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#26 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 8th, 2019, 6:11 pm

Grape growing is not a business that people should get in. We grow grapes and sell them to wineries. We don't sell any fruit by the field or acre, what's there is there. That's why I sell to big wineries and small, it gives me a bit more flexibility.
Last year's crop was exceptional. The perfect combination of ultra high quality fruit (ok not all wine has been determined to be great yet), happy pickers (they are paid by volume...so more grapes, more money) and happy ownership. The first thing I told my owners the day after harvest was it won't get any better than 2018. We put a healthy amount in the rainy day fund. We didn't buy any new equipment or spend on capital improvements.
I really liked Brian's post especially about making more wine (on a year that everyone else did) and then seeing it in the bargain bin two years later.
Oh and I also custom crushed some additional fruit that I couldn't sell, so I'm in the wine business again!
Oh and not from Napa, but hope it's okay to participate!
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#27 Post by Brian Tuite » June 8th, 2019, 7:49 pm

crickey wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 2:48 pm
Brian Tuite wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 6:20 am
Alan Eden wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 5:50 am
Well you cant expect poor winery owners to not increase prices, after all just because you get 30% extra free fruit the corks have gone up by 40 cents so we need an across the board $15 a bottle increase
Your contract is for a 1 acre block. You pay 18,000/T. If the vineyard produces 4T/Acre your fruit cost is $72,000 (don’t worry, I checked my math). If there is a 30% increase in crop size your fruit bill is now $93,600. You have to order 30% more glass, corks, capsules, labels, barrels (oops too late, you needed to do that 3-6 months ago), pay for 30% more tank space, 30% more winery labor, 30% more tax, 30% more cold storage space. Oh and now you have to find 30% more customers to buy all that “free” wine. Piece of cake, just write another check, sit on the extra wine that doesn’t sell or blend it into something, you’re a rich winery owner. Did I mention, all those bills come due 18 months before you even sell one drop. Then a critic decides it’s not a good vintage and nobody buys. So you sell the rest off to a distributor for 40¢ on the dollar and it shows up at retail for 25% lower than your release price and all your customers get pissed off.

But there’s always next year!
Alan's raising an interesting point that you more or less blew right past: the difference between fixed and variable costs. Your post implies that everything is a variable cost, so each additional unit costs the same as each other. Alan's post assumed the opposite, or rather that some of the costs were fixed or that at the least ordering 30% more glass, corks, barrels, etc. does not add 30% to your costs. The major assumption in Alan's post is that the winemaker/seller owns the grapes. So, for instance, we frequently hear tales that because of a poor crop, the price per unit must go up because there is less volume to cover the fixed costs. Presumably, the reverse should be true: that with a bumper crop, price per unit should go down (sadly, it does not appear to work that way among higher-end wines). That logic is based on the assumption that the cost of growing the grapes is relatively fixed (land cost won't vary and labor cost is relatively fixed whether a crop is small or large for a given parcel of land), and so would most apply where the winemaker also owns the grapes, like Bordeaux and many estates in California. The other major assumption in his post is standard economics: that more production should lower the price because you would be moving down the demand curve. You alluded to that with your need to "find 30% more customers." It's called lowering the price.

Obviously, there is a significant difference between winemakers who own the grapes and ones who purchase it. The most interesting thing I took from your post, assuming it is correct, is that grape purchasers buy by volume (or mass) even if the contract is on a defined parcel of land. That means that the grower takes all of the economic benefits and risks of the crop production. There is no particular reason for that distribution of risk and rewards as between seller and buyer; I could just as easily envisage a system where the buyer agrees to pay a fixed amount for the production of a defined parcel (and so would take all of the risks and rewards of a production), or anywhere in between.

I hope you realize how counterintuitive your post was from an economic point of view, as it implies you are better off with less product to sell than more. However, if your marginal costs really are constant, you very well may be better off with less product to sell as you want to sell where the marginal cost equals the marginal revenue, which in your case may be at a low volume, as at higher volumes, each additional sale eats into your profit margin.
This post relates back to a thread Alan posted a couple days ago lamenting the increased cost of his favorite Napa Cabs with one example being Becklyn and their new release at $175/btl. That fruit comes from Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper and you pay by the ton with Beckstoffer. If you contract for a couple rows they are going to charge by the ton. They drop fruit to keep crops under control but some years produce more regardless and you’ll pay for it or not get it next year. I’m not suggesting operations that own the vineyards because they are a different deal altogether.
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Paul Gordon
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#28 Post by Paul Gordon » June 8th, 2019, 9:14 pm

I cannot comment on Napa but 2018 does look promising. If long hang-time means high quality then 2018 should be a banner year. Here are the days between full color and pick for our Syrah:

2013: 9/14-10/12 = 29
2014: 9/1-9/19 = 19
2015: 9/3-9/20 = 18
2016: 9/18-10/8 = 21
2017: 9/13-10/4 = 22
2018: 9/13-10/20 = 38

A combination of the later harvest, high malic (as a result of the cool nights) and the cold winter meant that we just finished malo on our last wines a week ago. That is a long time without SO2!

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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#29 Post by Roy Piper » June 8th, 2019, 11:28 pm

It's a killer vintage. Crop loads are pretty big too. Better than 2016, which got very good press. Does not have the density and power of 2002 or 2013, but reminds me at this early stage of 2001 vintage or 1994 in terms of style. Alcohols are reasonable as well, most are sub-15%. I think the tonnage might make price increases difficult. Already some juice in barrel is for sale out there. Balance is the key to 2018.

I think the quality was almost universal in Napa this time. My personal fave vintage is 2015 since I moved here in 2005, because of the drought and high tannin and concentration. But so little of it was made and the tannin-level being what it is, it's already become an afterthought for many. 2002 and then 2013 are the consensus GOAT vintage of the 21st Century for Napa and 2018 is gonna be excellent but probably does not quite have the concentration to rival those. That won't stop people from saying it is better, though.
Last edited by Roy Piper on June 9th, 2019, 12:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#30 Post by Mel Knox » June 8th, 2019, 11:35 pm

To sell barrels we go around and pretend to be nice people interested in the welfare of those who buy barrels from us.

This latter group of people seems to be quite happy this year...usually there are a few unhappy campers out there.

This group of people extends from Santa Barbara to Greater Seattle.
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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#31 Post by Paul Marshall » June 9th, 2019, 12:10 am

Well, as long as Roy and many others continue to make GREAT wine...Credit Karma will continue to email me that my credit score isn’t optimal.

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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#32 Post by Matthew Denny » June 11th, 2019, 11:51 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 6:20 am
Alan Eden wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 5:50 am
Well you cant expect poor winery owners to not increase prices, after all just because you get 30% extra free fruit the corks have gone up by 40 cents so we need an across the board $15 a bottle increase
Your contract is for a 1 acre block. You pay 18,000/T. If the vineyard produces 4T/Acre your fruit cost is $72,000 (don’t worry, I checked my math). If there is a 30% increase in crop size your fruit bill is now $93,600. You have to order 30% more glass, corks, capsules, labels, barrels (oops too late, you needed to do that 3-6 months ago), pay for 30% more tank space, 30% more winery labor, 30% more tax, 30% more cold storage space. Oh and now you have to find 30% more customers to buy all that “free” wine. Piece of cake, just write another check, sit on the extra wine that doesn’t sell or blend it into something, you’re a rich winery owner. Did I mention, all those bills come due 18 months before you even sell one drop. Then a critic decides it’s not a good vintage and nobody buys. So you sell the rest off to a distributor for 40¢ on the dollar and it shows up at retail for 25% lower than your release price and all your customers get pissed off.

But there’s always next year!
This is correct at least at Becklyn. Also I don’t raise prices just because the vintage is exceptional

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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#33 Post by Matthew Denny » June 11th, 2019, 12:00 pm

Roy Piper wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 11:28 pm
It's a killer vintage. Crop loads are pretty big too. Better than 2016, which got very good press. Does not have the density and power of 2002 or 2013, but reminds me at this early stage of 2001 vintage or 1994 in terms of style. Alcohols are reasonable as well, most are sub-15%. I think the tonnage might make price increases difficult. Already some juice in barrel is for sale out there. Balance is the key to 2018.

I think the quality was almost universal in Napa this time. My personal fave vintage is 2015 since I moved here in 2005, because of the drought and high tannin and concentration. But so little of it was made and the tannin-level being what it is, it's already become an afterthought for many. 2002 and then 2013 are the consensus GOAT vintage of the 21st Century for Napa and 2018 is gonna be excellent but probably does not quite have the concentration to rival those. That won't stop people from saying it is better, though.
Agree with Roy here, although I do think it depends on location and Vineyard when comparing vintages

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Re: 2018 Napa - What are the winemakers saying??

#34 Post by Matthew Denny » June 11th, 2019, 12:01 pm

Also most of you have my personal email and phone number, always happy to discuss the business with you offline

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