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2016 Snakepit Red

90 pts - Wine Advocate

2016 Snakepit Red
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The micro blocks in our organic vineyards are continually monitored by our intrepid vineyard crew and our winemaker. Over time and experimentation, certain individual sections are identified as ones that would be ideal for limited release wines. These become part of our Small Lot Collection.

On the northern side of our ranch, next to the organic vegetable garden, are a few blocks that grow beautiful grapes and provide a healthy habitat for rattlesnakes. While we farm this area with extreme caution, we respect how wildlife co-exists with cultivation on our working ranch. As homage to the North Pacific Rattlesnake, aka Crotalus oreganus, we named this Small Lot Collection Red Wine blend – Snakepit.

The 2016 Snakepit Red shows aromas of voluminous purple fruit, blueberry, and black currant with a hint of caramel, reminiscent of a warm summery berry preserve. On the palate we find blackberry acidity balanced with great structure provided by soft, polished tannins. Delicious now, this wine will age well for eight to ten years. But we can’t wait that long.

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.

Wine Profile
Red Blend
Alexander Valley
Harvest Date
September 30 - October 17, 2016
19 months 50% new French oak
Bottling Date
May 25, 2018
Alcohol %
Wine Profile
Varietal Composition
78% Merlot 17% Cabernet Sauvignon 5% Petit Verdot