Newsletter November 2011

Harvest Tidings from Patz & Hall

Dear Friends, 

As we turn our thoughts to Thanksgiving here at Patz & Hall, it would be an understatement to say that we have a lot to be thankful for this harvest season. Despite the fact that 2011 was one of the coldest years in memory, with significant rain in early October, we were able to harvest before the wet stuff arrived. As a result, we brought in some really remarkable fruit.  

For many producers, especially those who work with late-ripening varieties, 2011 offered the proverbial rock and hard place—pick early and potentially underripe, or wait and hope the rain doesn’t ruin the crop. At Patz & Hall, picking before the rains was a relatively easy decision for two main reasons. The first is the fact that we work exclusively with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which are early ripening grapes. However, in 2011 this would not have been enough in and of itself to achieve the necessary ripeness. The real difference was in the farming. Because we are fortunate to partner with some of the finest growers in the business—people with decades, and often generations of experience—our growers knew what to do to coax development along in a vintage as cold as 2011. So with rains on the horizon, we picked with confidence knowing that our grapes had achieved beautiful maturity and character. 

Ultimately, the “challenges” of the cool 2011 vintage were the same conditions that delivered complex, balanced and wonderfully charismatic wines for Patz & Hall. The Pinots have terrific concentration and color, and a fresh, energetic purity that speaks eloquently of their vineyard sites. The Chardonnays are vibrant, fresh, wonderfully pure and layered, with a true sense of minerality. Even though alcohol levels are some of the lowest we have seen since 1998, we are seeing incredibly complex and complete wines, even from our coldest vineyards. While there might be a little more gray hair around the winery after 2011, at the end of the day, the quality is fantastic, and we truly believe we may have some of the best wines of the vintage. 

While we won’t be able to share our 2011s with your for awhile yet, we hope you’ll choose some of our past and current releases to grace your holiday table this year. 

Thank you for your support and enthusiasm. May the bounty of harvest grace your table this Thanksgiving, and may your holidays be merry and bright. 

Your Friends at Patz & Hall