2017 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.
The 2017 Estate Red is a real crowd pleaser, offering expressive aromatics of warm sun kissed raspberry and blackberry with a hint of molasses and bay leaf, followed by the fresh smell of a summer rain. On the palate we find lively acidity and freshness with supple tannins, rich flavors of espresso and dark chocolate. The finish shows mixed berry compote.
2017 was a year of extremes. The winter gave us twice our normal rainfall ending a five-year drought. The summer then came on with more scorchers than we care to count (16 days over 100 degrees!) The season ended with the most devastating fire in California’s history. We hope to never see a year like this one again. Despite the challenging growing conditions, the extremes ripened the grapes in magical ways allowing us to make some of our greatest wines – bright and aromatic whites and rosé plus supple, concentrated reds. As with everything in winemaking (and with farming in general), timing was key. Knowing when to pick (and being lucky!) made all the difference.