This covid-19 thing is really not fun.

Donald Patz delivering wine – April 2020

Dropping off wine for shipping. Who would have guessed six months ago that this would be required?

JUST BOTTLED – available soon (like now)

2020 we have already bottled the 2018 TERMINIM “Alder Springs Vineyard” Mendocino County SYRAH. It’s really lovely. We love drinking it already and can’t even imagine the heights that this wine can reach with 8-10 years in the bottle. It’s a more substantial wine than the 2017 – which is not surprising based on the vintages. A touch more alcohol but really more or less the same in that department – after all wine by definition has alcohol. This is really within the style of François Villard’s Rhône wines. There’s an elegance and beautiful aromatics but there is a darker note surging below that really speaks to Syrah’s essence.

Next week (May 2020) we will be bottling the 2019 TERMINIM Cépages d’Or “Alderwhite blend. Without looking at the final/final it should be about 50% Marsanne – 26% Roussanne and 12% each Viognier and Picpoul Blanc. (Similar to the 2018). It’s a wine that carries nice bright acidity (thanks Picpoul Blanc) to offset the natural richness of Marsanne/Roussanne blends. The Viognier is not blowing up this blend with “grandma’s powder perfume” aromas instead it is singing backup sweetly in the chorus. This is just in time for summer – probably summer 2021 ;-).

How do we do this blend? It’s a fitting question. Do we sit around with beakers and graduated cylinders managing the final blend down to a tiny fraction of a percent? Not really. Here’s how the 2018 came together – first we tried a 2-1 Marsanne to Roussanne blend exactly like the 2017. It was really good. Victory was declared but we wanted to see if we could climb the mountain of perfection a little higher so we tried that blend (2/1) with the equivalent about of Picpoul Blanc… also good. Then we tried blend 1 (2/1) with the equivalent amount of Viognier… also good. Then we tried the beginning blend (2 Marsanne to 1 Roussanne) with both Picpoul Blanc and Viognier. Amazing. It was the best of all. 2019 was more challenging to put together with the shelter in place order and the inability to have François come to taste the wines with us. We tasted the full blend in proportion and since it seemed every bit as good as the 2018… voilà, there was the blend.


This year, we have decided to decrease the overall number of cases of wine we make for the Donald Patz Wine Group – which along with TERMINIM includes MARITANA VINEYARDS and SECRET DOOR wines. The amount of wine we are making for TERMINIM is quite small and it is really fun to do. This year we do not plan to decrease the Cépages d’Or or the Syrah wines in comparison to 2019. We will stand steady and see what comes along for the remainder of this year in Sales. Target for 2020 from Alder Springs Vineyard is 2 tons of Marsanne, 1 ton of Roussanne, 0.5 ton of Picpoul Blanc and 0.5 ton or Viognier (white blend) along with 5 tons of Syrah.

It’s so early in 2020 that we can’t predict the results but there is no reason to believe that it will be adversely affected by the current chaos. It will certainly be a vintage to remember.

Donald Patz