2018 Estate Red
92 pts James Suckling; 91 pts Jeb Dunnuck; 90 pts Wine Enthusiast
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 winter gave us less rainfall than normal with almost all of the precipitation came in the early spring, so the vineyard had a full profile of water to start the growing season. We saw good early growth, a few warm periods, but no severe heat spikes. The key ripening period in late summer and early fall was cool and sunny, delaying harvest by a week but allowing full flavor development. We were blessed with a vintage we always dream about: abundant fruit of excellent quality.