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2018 was a wonderful growing season. Late spring rains made sure there was plenty of ground water to start the growing season. The summer was cooler than usual, with only a few days near 100 degrees. While the yields were larger than expected due mostly to larger berry size, the harvest was smooth and easy, allowing us to pick the fruit at its prime. 2018 was a lovely year with color, depth and complexity.
The grapes were hand harvested at night, carefully sorted in the vineyard, then brought to the cellar and destemmed. Following a cold soak, fermentation occurred at a high temperature to ensure maximum extraction was achieved before the wine was racked to 50 percent new French oak barrels. The wine was aged in barrel for a total of 18 months before bottling.
The majority of the fruit for our 2017 Petit Verdot was sourced from our vineyards in the Oakville, Carneros, and Oak Knoll District appellations. Petit Verdot is a late-ripening variety, and these warm regions encourage the development of complex flavors and a rich mouthfeel.
The season began with rain that refilled reservoirs and replenished soils, a welcome relief after an extended drought. Harvest started early at a normal pace in many regions and then progressed rapidly during a heat wave in late August and early September. Cooling temperatures in mid-September slowed the harvest and allowed red grapes to ripen gradually.
The fruit for this wine was harvested at an optimal level of ripeness from September to October. Fermentation took place at a high temperature to ensure that maximum extraction was achieved before the wine was racked to 50 percent new French oak barrels. The wine was aged in barrel for 18 months before bottling.