Barrel aged 30 months, smooth, velvet, balanced
We feel this to be another best effort yet in our search for elegance combined with lusciousness. This is a small lot wine from our vineyard that we picked in mid October in what was a cool year. The fruit was in great shape with the dimpling that I look indicating full ripeness. We hand picked the rows we had selected at dawn two days after the full moon. The mostly clone 337 fruit with a bit of clone 15 was cool and the juice in the tank was ~25 brix. The other fruit chemistry was also well balanced with a 3.8 pH and 0.6 TA. We destemmed and cold soaked for 48 hours before fermenting in a small open top fermentor. The punchdown regime was twice daily. Claude inoculated with D-254 yeast. Our barrel blend was ~20% 2nd Hungarian Trust, 20% 2nd use American and 40% 2nd use French and 20% new Segun Morreau French so as not to overwhelm the fruit with oak. The wine was in barrel 30 months and introduced to barrel slightly sweet.
We find that the wine is opulent on entry with a velvet body with black and red fruits. It is great for sipping alone or supping with meals. The finish lingers nicely without being overwhelmed in tannins. We feel this is a wonderful, elegant, smooth well balanced wine. As it ages it will only get more smooth, though there is no reason to wait. We are getting great feedback from friends, consumers, trade and my associates in the industry. This vintage stands up well to our gold medal winning 2009 and 2010.