2010 was a vintage characterized by a long, cool growing season which produced slow ripening, low-yielding, high quality fruit. The spring was cool, wet, and at times, seemed like the “endless spring.” We finally saw our average Napa summer temperatures reached towards the end of August. Harvest began at the latest recorded date in our 30 year history, but we were blessed by an Indian summer which helped us ripen the fruit and close the barn doors before the late fall rains. As usual, the year was full of challenges, but 2010 graced us with a near perfect finish. Onward!
Unique growing conditions can often lead to some of the most beautiful wines. The cooler temperatures and extended ripening made for beautiful, nuanced aromatics and a balanced, yet lively wine. Flavors ripened at lower sugars than previous years, giving the 2010 an especially elegant mouthfeel. Also notable were the cooler than average fermentations. To take advantage of these wonderful qualities, we kicked off primary fermentation in small open top tanks for 15-20 days. Malolactic fermentation then progressed in 30% new Billon Burgundy and 70% neutral French oak barrels. The wine was racked off its sediments in May of the first year, which also helped preserve the fresh aromatics of the vintage. This year’s unique Pick Up Sticks blend consisted of 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 15% Barbera and was bottled April 2012.
The 2010 Pick Up Sticks is a slight departure from the 2009. The higher percentage of Grenache leads to a beautiful nose of mulled strawberries, white pepper and garrigue. The palate attack is racy and long, with more of a juicy quality than in past vintages. Savory flavors of cooked strawberry, fresh red cherry and black pepper. A mouthwatering freshness, allayed with wonderful briary notes makes this a dynamite wine for summer foods from the grill. With a slight chill this wine pairs perfectly with grilled salmon. For a heartier pairing, try roasted lamb with black olive butter.