2015 Estate Red 1.5L
90pts - Wine Advocate
The alchemy and artistry of blending is something that challenges and motivates us as winemakers. Taking the individual varietal components and then blending them into a seamless whole while ensuring that their characteristics are well represented. As a red blend, we are not tied to a pre-determined percentage of any one varietal, giving us the freedom to create a unique blend that is delicious right out of the gate. We handcraft a wine that is hits on all cylinders – flavor, color, texture, depth, finish, and overall impression. Of course, being blessed with fruit from our Bell Mountain Estate Ranch and our experienced vineyard crew (several have been with us for more than a decade) who meticulously tend the vineyard rows to ensure optimum ripeness and fruit flavor, makes things more manageable. We selected several blocks from our estate’s Alexander Valley side to create this final blend.
This Merlot-based blend shows lovely, high-toned red fruit in the 2015 vintage with hints of mocha, vanilla, and oak. On the palate, the wine is round, rich, and ripe, with solid structure and balanced acid. Christmas spice notes surround a core of berries. Nicely developed tannins allow a long, smooth finish. The wine is mellow, approachable, and very food-friendly. It is a great introduction to red wine for a confirmed white wine drinker.
Cool, overcast conditions in May influenced the vines to set less fruit than normal. Fortunately the temperature rebounded and gave us one of our warmest years on record, but without the excessive temperature spikes we often see during warmer vintages. We also harvested earlier than in previous vintages. The result of these conditions was a lighter than expected crop, but with more intense aromatics and increased concentration, and generally lower alcohol.