Over the last week or so I have been preparing the 2009 vintage of the Family Cellar Marsanne. It is due to go to bottle next week, there to sleep for another half a year or so before we label and release the wine. It is always a good sign when this doesn't take too much effort. Far from me being lazy, it simply means (at the risk of getting all anthropomorphic on you) that the wine is happy with itself. Each time I taste the wine with a view to a little tweak here or a judicious addition there, I keep coming back to the original. I'm pretty sure it is the best I have made. 

Often it's what you leave out that makes the difference. In this case a single barrel of the wine didn't make the grade, one 225 litre barrique from a normally gorgeous French cooper from the Bordeaux region. The wine was just too much, the flavours too toasty and the tannins too heavy, even in the blend the influence was obvious. So, out it stays. Not that this is an easy decision, the barrel alone cost $1,200 plus the value of the wine in it and all that time and effort, but as the wine is better for the omission, it is clearly the right thing to do.

You will have to wait a while for the wine, but when it is released be sure to get in quick; remember, there are 225 litres less of it.