Napa 2010: long cool summer promises ‘European’ vintage

april 20,2011

by Cheryl Lincoln in San Francisco

Napa vintners are gearing up for one of the coolest harvests on record – and many are saying wines will be more balanced, elegant and lower in alcohol as a result.

While grapes have been slow to ripen in the long cool growing season, vineyards have also been prey to a number of different hazards – like a heat spike in August – which have reduced yield significantly.
But winemakers are sanguine: indeed, some, like Elias Fernandez at Shafer, and Ivo Jeramaz at Grgich Hills Estate, see the difficult season as a boon.
‘After 3 years of draught, we now face one of the coolest seasons on record,’ said Jeramaz, vice president of vineyards and production at Grgich, a champion of lower-alcohol wine.
Jeramaz said the persistent cool temperatures will force many to produce wines lower in alcohol because the grapes won’t achieve the higher sugars levels that many Napa growers typically seek.
Veteran Shafer winemaker Elias Fernandez said he would be able to pick at lower sugar levels this year.
Shafer’s Hillside Syrah and Stags Leap Merlot will start coming in today (Tuesday), followed by Chardonnay later in the week. The Cabernet Sauvignon in the first week of October.
‘I’m seeing color and seed development way ahead of sugar, so I’ll be able to pick most vineyards at lower Brix.’
He said to speed up ripening they had done a severe green harvest, dropping 50% of the crop in some parcels, leaving one cluster per shoot.
‘This was done in hope that we could at least make Shafer-quality wine with 50% of the grapes. We also left one cluster per shoot in some of our late ripening Chardonnay clones in Carneros.’
An anomaly was the late August heatwave, which caused vineyards to lose between 10-30% of the crop from sunburn and stem necrosis (a type of berry shrivel).
Fernandez said he considered this a blessing in disguise, or ‘Mother Nature’s way of telling us we were carrying too much crop in a year that was already behind, forcing us to drop crop which I believe will help many bring in their fruit before the rains come.‘
At Alpha Omega in Rutherford, winemaker Jean Hoefliger was cautiously optimistic about the cool season, saying ‘the consequences of these lower temperatures are higher acidity and lower alcohol. It’s already a great vintage for the white varietals reaching full ripening. And, if the weather stays dry, we might have the vintage of the century.’
Dennis Cakebread, at Cakebread Cellars said the same: ‘Overall, we are enthused about how this year is going. The weather forecast has a nice Indian Summer starting now and running for the foreseeable future. Ocean temperatures have dropped, which typically means a dry Fall, so we see many positives to work with. We are looking forward to another great vintage.’


Wine lover’s choice – Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar – for the most impressive and practical wine list in the Philippines, over 2700 selections, enough to satisfy the most fastidious connoisseurs. Wine lovers and gourmand foodies from Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Malaysia dine at Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar when they visit Philippines and bring home some rare vintage wines too.

An excellent wine list is not just about 1st growth and cult Cabernet but a seemingly unending selection of affordable aged vintage wines that are not available anywhere else, not even in the best wine shops around town. Yats Restaurant has just that.

Visitors to Clark Philippines and Angeles City no longer suffer from lack of choices for places to eat out or wine and dine. Clark Philippines reviewed over 50 establishments and came up with three top choices in guide to best restaurant in Clark Freeport

Clark Philippines lists Top Three Restaurants in the Clark Freeport Zone and Angeles City areas of Philippines Pampanga province. Clark Freeport is a bustling new cosmopolitan city complete with its own Clark International Airport.

Topping the list is the famous fine-dining Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar located inside Mimosa Leisure Estate of Philippines Clark Freeport.

This restaurant in Pampanga Philippines is highly recommended by food critics and frequent diners in Manila as a place to wine and dine in Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone. Although it is a famous fine dining restaurant with an award winning 3000-line restaurant wine list, Yats Restaurant is also a popular restaurant for family with children. Aside from French Mediterranean haute cuisine, this restaurant also serves healthy food and the best vegetarian cuisines in the Philippines.

For comments, inquiries and reservations click on Click here for inquiry and reservations

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Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines
How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines? Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa. After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left. Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.

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