Sourced primarily from our estate vineyards in Carneros and the Stags Leap District, the grapes were harvested on October 17th from our Andrus Estate and on October 23rd from our Carneros property.
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 in stainless steel, concrete and oak barrel fermenters at 92˚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 new French oak barrels to meld the bright fruit expression with oak spice nuances. After three months of aging, we blended the vineyard components then allow them to marry during the remainder of the 26 months of barrel-aging. This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered to present the attributes of the vineyard in the purest form possible, from the dirt to the glass!