The intoxicating aromatics of the wine are jam packed with hints of raspberry, Santa Rosa plum, nutmeg and red currants. This leads to a mouth-wateringly juicy acidity on the mid-palate that is overflowing with flavors of dark chocolate covered cherry, hand pulled espresso and grilled rosemary. Bright and vibrant upon entry, the wine transitions to a graphite finish that oscillates from notes of tobacco and vanilla to those of violets and cola, all the while being subtly supported by a foundation of fine grain tannin.
A wine as luxurious as this begs to be paired with a similarly extravagant meal beginning with a spinach and grilled strawberry salad (drizzled with a balsamic reduction), followed by a main course of duck confit and pommes aligoté and finishing off with a room temperature round of Explorateur cheese, quince paste and crusty baguette.
2019 began with a wet and cool spring, which pushed bud break out two weeks later than in 2018. The summer growing season was relatively uneventful, with no heat spikes. Due to the moderate weather and late bud break, veraison did not end until early August in some areas of the valley. Autumn brought hot days and cool nights which helped push the grapes to full ripening, while preserving their acidity. As a result, the wines produced from this vintage are full and robust with deep color.
The grapes were hand-harvested at night when temperatures often dip to 50˚F to capture vibrant acidity and fruit expression in the wine. We first cold-soaked the must (crushed grapes) for gentle extraction and then fermented the must in both oak puncheons and Italian-made concrete fermenters at 88˚F. Rigorous pump-overs, increasing during the peak of the fermentation, developed deep color, rich varietal character and fine tannins in the wine. The wine was aged in 90% new French oak barrels to meld the bright fruit expression with oak spice nuances. After three months in barrel, the initial blend of the varieties is made so that the wine can marry during the balance of the 24 months of aging. To retain the wine’s full complexity, the wine was bottled without fining or filtration.