Without a doubt, 2010 was one of the most extraordinary vintages we have ever experienced!
To start---it was the coolest growing season in some 50 years. Then, there was a vicious heat spike in late August that dried up a number of grape clusters—mostly among thin-skinned Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. And if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, several rainstorms blew in toward the end of harvest. But the grapes that survived the rigors of the season have proved to be loaded with flavor. Maybe it’s true what they say: “Great wines have to suffer!”
In fact, the unfinished 2010 wines are showing such great promise that we, at Covenant Winery, are dancing with joy!
We believe the cool weather allowed the grapes to slowly develop flavor intensity. It’s hard to know for sure. But one thing is certain: In our newly fermented red wines, the tannins are so plush and velvety that the wines seem almost ready to drink now.
Our newest Chardonnay is also showing well. It is still finishing its fermentation, and we have high hopes for another great Lavan vintage. And in a first for Covenant, this year we made Sauvignon Blanc from a beautiful little vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. The wine is packed with bright varietal aromas and will be bottled under the RED C label. RED C Sauvignon Blanc will be released in the Spring of 2011.
Some might hesitate to crow about the vintage at such an early date. But we are so JAZZED, it’s hard not to! Nonetheless, we’ll all have to wait until the wines are ready for release. Meanwhile, look for our 2008 red wines just now arriving in the market. They are ready to drink now.
For a visual taste of Harvest 2010, visit to our website www.covenantwines.com and take a photo tour of the 2010 Covenant crew. While there, you can also visit vintages past.
As always, should you be coming to Napa Valley, please let us know. We’d love to meet you for a taste of Covenant.
Jeff Morgan, Leslie Rudd and the cellar crew at Covenant Wines