2020 + 2021 rough west coast vintages

Many are saying it’s a high acid year but my data shows me it’s not that unusual for mid-September. pH of 3.4-3.5 at this time is very normal. But some see the elevated brix and compare the two and think the acid is high when in fact the brix are high for this date. Some TA’s are 7+ but a few people have told me Malic levels already are lower than most vintages at harvest. I would say 1/4 of the valley is picked-off now and more than one winemaker has told me they would rather get off with the current sugar, avoid fires and then de-acidify. They are fully in tank and already sleeping better than I am given I am 10 days from my first Cab pick and 14 from my last. Brix has gone backwards the last week in Napa due to watering for the previous week’s ultra dryness. Most vineyards are about out of water so vines will start to crash soon in some places. This week I believe 1/2 of the remaining Napa floor fruit will be picked and all the rest the next week, except maybe in the mountains. I think the days of mid-October picks are over in Napa. Just too much financial risk and not enough water.

Not sure what value the OP is offering. These types of posts drive me crazy.

A highly inaccurate hot take.

It does induce craziness, as it is a radical oversimplification that then gets picked up by other uninformed people, and can become “accepted wisdom” despite being dead wrong.

In another thread about. 2017 Cabernet I enjoyed someone brought up that 2017 was “mediocre.” On what basis I have no idea.


I had some 20 WM Pinot and it was a classic warm vintage. No smoke just a lot of sun. If that’s your thing, jump all over it!

I have tasted a lot of 2020 white’s and Rose’s from California, Oregon, and Washington and all of them are excellent. What I have heard about the 2021 vintage is that the crop and cluster sizes are small, but the quality is amazing. I was in Sta Rita Hills and Santa Barbara this weekend and many were comparing the quality of 2021 to 2018. Santa Barbara County, as well as Paso Robles have had a cooler than normal summer. Most of the vineyards in Santa Barbara this weekend still had fruit hanging with bird netting. Later pick than most areas which means an extended hang time.

Based on recent posts by OR producers, 2021 is looking very, very promising.

We are about 95% harvested and 2021 is looking terrific.

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Just like Swiss timing sweeping in.