Matt tasting

Back in the Tasting Room

The K-J winemakers are at it again! It seems like all we ever do is taste. Well, it’s a little more complicated than that, but wine tasting really is a big part of the job. On this day alone, we had about 160 wines from the stellar 2012 vintage lined up for evaluation!

In previous posts, you’ve seen the tools winemakers use to select the best wine lots for final blending: a tasting sheet to track impressions of the wines, a trusty pencil or pen, a towel and a spittoon.

So what’s the early verdict on Bordeaux wines from the 2012 vintage? Stunning! Our Bennett Valley wine lots exceed any vintage I have seen in the last 9 years of tasting. The Trace Ridge Cabernets are rock stars. The Alexander Valley Cabernets are phenomenal. In short, I am a very happy winemaker with the promise of 2012!

This winter’s trial tasting introduced an exciting new component. We’re going high-tech! The folks behind the scenes at Kendall-Jackson have been working on a new, online version of our mighty inventory database we use every day to manage the recording, tracking and compliance of the winery.

Until now, we’ve transcribed those winemaker scores into the database, to preserve for posterity the winemakers’ collective impression of all of our vineyards across the vintages. The 2012 vintage brings us front and center into the high-tech world of digital note-taking.  Now we can just log at the touch of a screen to track the entire day’s tastings using a digital tablet.  Numerical scores, notations and flowery wine descriptors are now entered directly on the screen and the score is uploaded to the database.

Pretty cool, huh? Now if it would just brush and whiten our teeth after the hours of tasting, we red winemakers truly would be on cloud nine!