timing is everything
Life, is timing. A wise friend told me this once and it has always stuck there in my mind, whenever things do or don't go right… well, it has to be the timing. It's the same for wine; time is a vital, crucial element, key in winemaking. The time you pick your fruit, the time it spends in barrel, the times you pay attention to it and the times you don't, and the time it spends in bottle are all very important.
Remember that wine, as life, is a living thing, an organism or multitude of organisms combining to create something that is ever-evolving. Then, think of it as a sort of kaleidoscope. When looking through one of these you must slowly turn it to watch the beautiful shapes change and move about but if you shake it all the pieces fall apart and the design is gone. Wine is similar, being a delicate, living thing, it has to be cared for and certain things must happen at critical times.
Right now I am focused on bottling. It has nothing to do with freeing up barrels for this years coming harvest. Winemaking decisions should never be based on an economical outcome, rather the wines benefit. I've got the wine at what I would call it's sweet spot (not literally), and it has evolved to the point where I feel the barrel can give no more and it must now enter a new phase of its life.
So as this wine enters a new phase, I'll watch the other vintages, taste them and rack if needed and top, top, top, then start planning this years harvest once again.
What are your winemaking philosophies? How do you feel about timing?