H o w
P r e p a r e f o r B o t t l i n g
There are lots of times in life when kidding yourself,
coaxing, cajoling, and encouraging yourself is just-the-ticket.
But when we ask ourselves, is this really what we set out to do?
Is this really what we want? Such that others will want it too.
Such that trust is built.
At that moment of the question, we take the most important step in preparing
for bottling: we do not kid, coax, or cajole ourselves. We just ask the question straight up.
One of the ways we do this is to take a break and really stop to ask this question.
We leave home. We go to the coast, check into a bed and breakfast, bring the wine
samples and glasses with us, and then after breakfast is well over, we sit in the
kitchen and taste with this series of penetrating questions in mind.
To get a don't-kid-yourself answer, we have to leave ourselves an out.
We have to have an easy and graceful retreat, and we have done just that.
So with all the pieces in place, we can have a true and good answer.
Is this what we set out to do?
At this point, is this really what we want?
Will this build trust and love?
All of these questions are summed up in different standards we apply to ourselves.
The easy ones are relative: At this price, is ours as good or better than what is available?
And with a blind comparative tasting, with other accomplished tasters, we can answer that.
And if that was our standard, we could always live up to it.
All you have to do is to adjust the price up or down.
But there is some romantic thrill of living up to a standard that is more elusive,
one that presses us to produce something that isn't just about the money.
To that point, here is the story of the standard:
Have you ever gone fishing?
Well I did at one of the greatest places on earth to fish.
The place where the seed is gathered for wild trout, the McCloud River.
It was at the Bollibokka Club where it is as much about cooking, drinking great wines,
and doing it all with a sense of camaraderie that surpasses pretty much everything.
So when you fish, and you have a fish on,
you know that incredible rush, that anticipatory feeling, that elixir of the moment.
Well, that's our practically impossible standard.
To have that same feeling when you bring the glass to your nose.
That's one of our most striking standards, here's the connection.
We don't filter.
We don't filter the Pinot Noirs at anytime, and particularly not as a
preparation for bottling. This is a risk that most of the industry chooses not to
accept because of possible biological instability and the time and expense to re-bottle it.
But back to fishing.
The fish is the biological expression of the river. We want life in the river and bottle.
When a fish is on, the linkage to that biological elixir-moment is through the
hook, line, eyelets, rod, reel, handle, and, you and the fish.
If there isn't a 'biology' on the other end of the line, there is little connection.
We feel the same is true for wine.
If a wine has its biology filtered away from it, the potential of the connection goes down.
So to create the finest, we don't filter and we do take the risk that comes along with it.
If you are making wine on a big scale, not filtering is (bad) crazy,
but we are making wine on a very delimited basis, so we must be (good) crazy.
The main thing is that trying to live up to such a standard doesn't drive us crazy.
Rather, it points us in the same direction that the
camaraderie of the McCloud points us in...
simply the best.
The Bollibokka Clubhouse dinner table,
laying-in-wait for the camaraderie.