We got our wine shipment today from Yoakim Bridge Winery – the lovely small production winery in Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma. We received their Cuvee and Zinfandel. We are happy winos!
Here’s an email notice for our shipment. We thought we’d share it because it’s full of charming information about Yoakim Bridge. Who doesn’t want to read about David’s obsession with a tree frog in the vines?
Yoakim Bridge Winery March 2013 Gold Club Selection.
Twice a year David and I take the time to sit and reminisce about the “little things” that add spice to life. When I asked him what made the crush of 2012 unique, he mused, and replied, without a doubt that it was his amazing relationship with a tree frog!
Most of you know that David spends a lot of time alone in the winery at all hours of the day and night, mainly punching down the fermenting bins of fruit over and over again. This year he became absolutely convinced that a little tree frog was actually following him around. He told me about this, and I nodded and winked, “sure, honey….right!” Weeks passed.
Now, as the only other person on our “staff”, I have been known to spend a bit of time in the winery myself, especially during crush. One of my duties is to wear the late shift security badge and keep a certain weary winemaker on my radar. From what I could tell, the life of David was getting suspiciously complicated. He was now placing a little saucer on the floor, near the tank. Why? “The little guy’s thirsty” and “I’ll be in for dinner in a minute, I have to give froggy a bath.” “OK!. Anything you say honey”. More time passes. I know things are getting serious in the fatigue department when walking on the pad outside the winery, I hear a full blown conversation between David and you-know-who: “You KNOW you should not be there!! I almost stepped on you!! (Ribbit, ribbit!) You’re the same color as the floor!! (Ribbit!) Now you get yourself out to the vineyard, and STAY THERE! (Ribbit,croak,croak,ribbit,
I, personally, have retained a psychiatrist. I have never actually SEEN Froggy. David, on the other hand, talks to him, and he to David ALL the time. Just ask them. 😉
This year we experienced an event that became known to those in California wine industry, as “Magic March”. That describes the blessing of 20 inches of rainfall last Spring, just in time to nurture an amazing and bountiful crop. It arrived after a mere 10 inches of accumulation for the previous 8 months. In some cases the fruit load was up 35% and a harvest record was set in Sonoma County for total tonnage ever!
The months of June through September we found ourselves fanning through the vineyard dropping fruit to the ground in a frenzied effort to limit the yield and insure a harvest of concentrated fruit. We happily await the 2012 bottling.
We are delighted include the following wines in your March 2012 Yoakim Bridge selection.
2009 Yoakim Bridge Dry Creek Valley Cube
This new release has everything going for it! It is over 90% Stromberg Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with small amounts of Gallaway Merlot and Dry Creek Valley Petite Syrah. Sound familiar? With the exception of the year, the blend is identical to the 2007 Cuvee, a solid all time favorite.
We picked the 2009 Stromberg Cabernet in advance of a six-inch rainfall hoping to avoid the off flavors and fermentation nightmare often accompanying botrytis infected fruit. We are delighted with the cranberry bouquet and slightly lower alcohol of 13.7 %. This young wine will mature beautifully in the next two years, or can be enjoyed now after decanting. We pair it with triple cream cheeses, savory beef, earthy mushrooms. The more butter in the sauce, the better!!
2010 Yoakim Bridge Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Many of you to whom we have spoken with in the tasting room have heard about the difficulties every grower faced during the frustrating 2010 vintage…AND its’ glories. It was LEDGENDARY!
Late June rains, (a FIRST in our 18 years here) decimated the young clusters directly or through the rapid spread of powdery mildew. Our large, head-trained canopies were especially vulnerable. Leaves were pulled to expose the tender clusters to sunlight and circulating wind in an effort to dry them out. Unfortunately, three days after the rains the temperature rose to a record 108 degrees, frying the exposed, unhardened fruit. Ton after ton simply fell to the ground. We wound up with four tons of fruit, which is ONE THIRD of our typical yield.
Now: the good news. This unique, concentrated Zinfandel is full of distinct raspberry fruit with a score to settle. The white pepper notes are bright and engaging. The wine was difficult to vinify, and is ever so slightly, off-dry. It will dance with steaming bowl of lobster bisque, rich Southern- shrimp dishes and knock a California Dungeness Crab Louie out of the park!
Please be patient and give this particular vintage six more months in bottle to discover what we already know to be an engaging and utterly delicious Zinfandel. Due to the extremely rare vintage, we will not be pouring this wine in the tasting room and it will not be discountable.
2008 Yoakim Bridge Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
This full bodied, fruity wine is drinking beautifully right now! Its’ dark berry fruit is a great contrast to the bright red-berry fruit of the 2010 Zinfandel. It is especially delicious with smoke laced meats, savory Italian cuisine, and authentic Mexican dishes. It will still go a distance in the bottle should you wish to cellar it for several years.
David and I are thankful that God has allowed us another year of working in His vineyards, and for the fruit of your friendship and support. Be blessed and enjoy!