We spoke with Winemaker B last week, as harvest was just starting. This is now his 4th harvest at Armida Winery; amazing how time goes by! For his first harvest at Armida, his first child was about 3 months old, and for this harvest, his second is about the same age. But 2010 was a tough harvest from the winery perspective as well: first harvest as head winemaker, first harvest at Armida, and the grapes were just good, but not great, throughout the region.
2011 was not a great vintage either in the Russian River and Dry Creek Valleys, where Armida gets most of their grapes. 2012 had incredible quantity, and pretty good quality, as far as we can tell so far. So what to expect in 2013?
Well, the initial report from Winemaker B is that this could be an excellent year for Armida. No real weather problems during the growing season, no spikes near harvest, just a consistent warmth for the grapes. Add to that some better technique in the vineyards, and more knowledge on the part of Winemaker B as to what each vineyards’ characteristics are and how to optimize the quality from each vineyard, and it could add up to an outstanding year for Winemaker B and Armida.
Armida has always been known for its Zinfandels, and this year could be a lot of fun. Winemaker B has always had a feel for Zinfandel, dating back to the early part of his career at Peachy Canyon Winery. In his first harvest at Armida he got the Parmelee-Hill Zinfandel, which should still be sitting in the bottle and getting better. 2011 was the year for the Maple Vineyards Zinfandel to shine. He’s still not sure about the best from 2012, although the Goldmine Vineyard Zinfandel is the early favorite. This year, the betting money (even before bringing in the grapes) seems to be on Tina’s Block from Maple Vineyard producing the top Zinfandel. And, of course, there’s always the Poizin Reserve, in the coffin.
More updates to come, probably focusing on the white wines next time.