2016 Estate Red
The alchemy and artistry of blending is something that challenges and motivates us as winemakers. Taking 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. This means that we are free to create a unique blend that is delicious right out of the gate. Our goal is to create a wine that hits on all cylinders – flavor, color, texture, depth, finish, and overall impression. Of course, being blessed with the 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, make things more manageable. We culled several blocks from our estate’s Alexander Valley side to craft this final blend.
Historically, Merlot has featured most prominently in the Estate Red. With the 2016 vintage, Mother Nature blessed us with gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon fruit and a bit more than we’re used to. This gave us the perfect opportunity to add in additional Cabernet to the blend. The 2016 Estate Red offers ample fruit aromas of black cherry, blackberry, and blood orange, supported by intriguing notes of sage, black olives, and licorice. On the palate we find firm tannins and lively acid with a cocoa powder finish and a lingering note of violets. This is a crowd-pleaser and we’re excited to share it with you.
The 2016 vintage began with a warm spring and some late rains that gave us an early budbreak and enough water to provide good early season vine growth despite being in the tail end of a severe drought. June and July were warmer than usual, but when we approached the key ripening months of August and September, the weather cooled significantly, allowing a slow approach to maturity. These conditions favor good fruit development without excessively high alcohol. Exactly the kind of wine we love to make.