Today was the big day for the first tasting - and decision to rack my 13 Litres of wine.
I have deliberately left the demijohns untouched since the start of barrel-fermentation in September, believing the best thing to do is to forget all about them.
Either the process works - or it doesn't; nothing I can do in between.
The first impression of the year's harvest is: Powerful!
Strange - it was anything but a good year - the warm and sunny April and May were followed by a chilly, grey, rainy summer. At the September harvest time a little warmth returned, but it really was too late.
On the other hand, the vines are now 5 years old and begin to produce a better fruit.
I have also planted 3 Chardonnay vines in 2011 - they may either produce a white wine on their own, or become an integral part of future rose experiments.
The 2011 wine is still young and yeasty (what do you expect?), but the next 3-4 months will show how it develops and whether a malolactic fermentation sticks up its head, as it sometimes happens on these northern latitudes.
It can be controlled, but I have decided to let nature take its course.
Anyway, it is important to be in some control, as otherwise most of the wine will have to be licked off the floor, as the corks pop during this second fermentation.
Both the Triomphe d'Alsace and the Brant show good strength with a powerful and fruity taste - almost portwine like. Obviously the alcohol development has not disappointed.
I decided to blend the two, leaving me with 2 full 5 liter demijohns and 2 bottles of quaffable juice for now.
I hear a call for a Coq-au-vin, a vinous cassoulet or a special spaghetti sugo!
OK - it is not Chateau Petrus - but the joy of drinking your own, homeproduced wine almost beats the joy of helping my friend Lars Halling emptying his cellars of his exquisite selection of 1994 Burgundies, German Auslese or select Bordeaux wines.
Well - - almost!
The next 10 years I shall lay down one bottle pr year - and at my 80 year birthday, they will all pop - if I haven't popped before myself!
And now: nothing more about this vintage, before the spring bottling!