Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sacrificing Canes for Quality

The Sacrificial Cane experiment is a technique used by Peter Fraser and the Santa Barabara County vineyard team at the Barham Ranch. This technique is employed to develop small, concentrated, dark Syrah berries with riper tannins and more elegant fruit flavor profiles.

How it works: At the beginning of the season the vines are trained to produce additional fruit on two extra canes. The vines are kept healthy and strong from budburst to flowering to encourage high yields.

Water is kept very tight from fruit set to verasion. Since the vines carry more fruit that needs to be ripened, the vine naturally limits the size of the individual berries, which is exactly what we want.

At close to 90% verasion the two sacrificial canes are cut and, in some cases, drop more than 1/3 of the crop. The timing is crucial on when to remove the canes. Cut them too soon and the berries will become fat. Cut them too late and the plant has been robbed of vital verasion energy.

The final and crucial part is irrigation from full verasion to harvest. The extra watering slows the ripening and the sugars began to plateau. If everything goes as planned, the vines will produce top-notch Syrah – bright fruit; the ripe tannins with concentration and lushness.

Vineyard Characteristics

Is the backbone, theBarry Bonds of the team. Dark, blackberry fruits. It
has big chewy tannins. And consequently dominates the team.

Is the spice, the finesse, dark cherry. The tannins are grainier and silky. This
is the "queer eye for the straight guy" part of the blend, the style police.

Is bright, perfumed and red fruits, acidity and length. I can’t think of a
celebrity for this one? Definitely metro sexual too..., maybe the style
police travel in twos.

Put this all together to get a young George Clooney style

Monday, August 11, 2008

TOP 10: Racy Pairings

With a bold, jammy, exotic forest floor type of Syrah, you need matching bold and exotic food pairings. Here are our top ten racy pairings ideal for a glass of Kinton Syrah.

1. Warm Lamb and Mint Spring Rolls with a Peanut Plum Hoison Sauce

2. Pancetta Shiitake Mushroom Burger with fresh Homemade Mayonaisse Schmear

3. Pasta Carbonara (Easy, No Fuss - just like our Syrah)

4. Old Fashioned Macaroni & Cheese and Barbecued Ribs with Greens and Sweet Rolls

5. Black Pepper Crusted Steak with Roasted Rutabegas and Yukon Gold Potatoes

6. Thick Cut Pork Chop with a Candied Pear Glaze

7. A BLT: plenty of Smoked Bacon, Sliced Heirloom Tomato, Crunchy Ice Berg on Fresh Baked Sourdough

8. Seared Filet Mignon with Sheeps Milk Feta over Mache and Fresh Spring Greens

9. Cajun Andouille Sausage over Red Beans and Rice

10. Grilled Eggplant Lasagna with Hearty Meat Sauce served with warm French Bread

Et Voila!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

TOP 10: shuffle, repeat

The Kinton Playlist
(available here as an Imix from Itunes)

1. Ella Fitzgerald, Black Coffee
2. Beck, Where its at
3. Seal, Violet
4. Elliott Smith, Memory Lane
5. Stereo MC's, Get Connected
6. James Brown, I got you I feel good
7. The Isley Brothers, Its your thing
8. Maria Creuza, Berimbau
9. George Michael, Careless Whisper
10. Bill Withers, Lovely Day

The 2005 vintage invoked beautiful rootsy notes in the nose (coffee and earth) followed immediately by luscious red and black fruit - enough balance to make you exclaim "This is where its at!".

The color, clarity, volume, textures, aromas and flavors make a smooth sail through your body. Experience it and enjoy.

Available at a market in your neighborhood, nearby!

Monday, August 4, 2008

wrap it up (I'll take it!)

It's been an interesting year between bowling at Hospice Du Rhone, star gazing at Gen Art film Festival & enjoying the views and aromatics at the SB VIntner's Festival.

Here's a cassette tape wrap up, for those of you who couldn't make it with us every step of the way.