When it comes to making a consistent wine year after year, Fairview Cellars owner Bill Eggert would prefer to let time do most of the work. “I find that they do reach a certain amount of consistency,” he says, “even though they’re very different when they’re young. As they get older, they kind of fall into this [pattern].”
This was demonstrated recently at a tasting that featured 7 vintages of his meritage, “The Bear” from ’03 to ’09. While the weather for these vintages were all very different in terms of heat units and precipitation, with bottle age they have all started showing the one thing that they all shared: their terroir.
That is where the magic is even when vintages appear to be lesser or greater. The great thing about wine is it is not the same each year. “Yields change in the vineyard, pruning changes depending on the weather and how things work. Every year is a new year.”
As a vintage, 2011 was no walk in the park. “It was a tough harvest. But everything ripened… really late. Pressing in snow storms is getting to be a habit.” Bill still managed a 30% increase in production. “[We had] some serious tank space issues because of expanded production.”
That means that there will be more wine to lay down for those able to cellar their wines. Commenting on the 2010 vintage of the Two Hoots, Bill says, “This looks very much like the ’01. This would compare to the ’01 and ’04.”
For fans of those vintages, you can now add the 2010 to your shopping list when you visit Fairview Cellars.
~ Luke Whittall