News  and  Views 
August   2009 
Cellar Notes
Harvested: 09/11/04
Appellation: Lodi
Treatment:  Unfined and unfiltered
pH:  3,6
TA:  .784
Alcohol by Volume:  16.06%
Cases to release for 2009:  25
Release date: 09/11/09
$55 each bottle
$44  ea. with 6 bottle order until 09/11/09
$33  ea. with 12 bottle order until 09/11/09
all prices include tax.
Shipping in CA:
6  to 11 bottles = $25,  12 bottles = free, for now.
call or email
49610 House Ranch Road
O'Neals, CA 93645
Thank you.............

September 11, 2009 
 At  Westbrook Wine Farm  we put our wines into the bottle when they are supposed to go there.  For our red wines that usually means after an oak aging period of from 18 to 26 months.  Thereafter, the interaction (esterification) between the natural fruit acids from the grape and alcohol introduced through fermentation form the esters which are major components of taste and "bottle bouquet".  Two years in a barrel and three years in the bottle is a classic, if not arbitrary, regimine for when a well constructed red wine begins its ascendancy toward proper drinkability.  The timeline, of course, depends upon the wine.  Whites and lighter reds by design (or default) will have a rather rapid ascent toward an acute apex and a rapid descent  thereafter.  Well grown and carefully vinted wines will exhibit a slower  shallow incline toward a plateau  before beginning their slower decline. 
It has always been our desire to release  a "Reserve" wine on its fifth birthday and our  2004 Cabernet Sauvignon  "Sandy Patch Reserve"  from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Lodi has provided that opportunity.
Never a problem child, Sandy Patch was closed-in and strangely brooding during its two year stay in new extra fine grain American oak. With the color of squid ink and a naturally fermented alcohol of  over 16% by volume, we new it was destined for special status (and carping by the alcophobic cookie-cutter wine critics).  
Sandy Patch remained demure  through out the first two years in the bottle.  Adolescense  abruptly morphed into young adulthood in April of this year when we chanced to taste with restaurateur and sommelier, Chris Shackelford from Trelio in Clovis, CA.   Chris' comments:
The biggest wine to date, bar none.  Doubt anyone would argue that at 16% alcohol.  Dark fruit hidden by cedar box, fertile earth notes and rich oak aromatics.  It stays that way in the glass for at least a half an hour.  By the time you are a little tipsy the wine starts to open to rich, sweet blackberry cassis fruit profile laced with notes.
The tannin structure stays firm from opening to finish of the bottle w hich leads me to believe a long aging life awaits the wine.  The acid is very much a part of the wine and is well balanced considering the higher alcohol levels. 
Considering the structure of the wine I believe the release date should fall some time in the fall with giving the wine two months to reaclimate to the end users celler and settling time, ready to drink from early 2010 to 2016. 
The wine is still very primary right now for a 2004 (suprisingly as high alcohol levels usually turn a wine rather rapidly).  With the high tannin and acid I believe that this will not be the case.  The high cedar and earth notes should develop with the wine as it starts to change, pushing them more into the fruit aromatics on the front end and incorporating themselves in a more secondary character on the finish.  I would not expect the dense fruit to dissipate of change too much in the next six years,  I do not know how long the wine has already been in the bottle (Ray?) so my observations are based on a
single tasting of the wine last Sunday.  This is a very interesting wine, one that I do not have much experience with at this quality level.  If to draw a comparison I would have to equate it to a Western Australian (Margaret River)wine such as Leeuwin or Cape Mentelle as they to have the dense structure and high alcohol and tend to perform rather well in the cellar for 6 to 8 years effortlessly on a great vintage. 
The only reason I believe that this wine may out perform those was that the color on the SP Reserve showed little to no oxidation in the color... so something is working in the wine. I would not deal with the fruit any other way than how Ray has handled it, and would love to use this fruit some day for myself as there is obviously something very special in that vineyard very worth while looking at.

Cheers,      Chris at Trelio

Are you visiting beautiful Yosemite or Bass Lake this year?
You know you want to.......
Please add a visit to our vineyard and winery to your itinerary.
Give us a call, we're on your way! 
Ray and Tammy Krause, Proprietors
Westbrook Wine Farm
49610 House Ranch Road
O' Neals, CA 93645 
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