The 2003 growing season was a long one, resulting in very promising fruit. The weather was a mix of long, cool periods punctuated by short, warm and hot spells, assuring both excellent acidity and good sugar levels.
The varietal lots were kept separate during fermentation. All the juice received extended maceration. The various lots went into small open-top fermenters where the cap was punched down three times per day. Juices were fermented using Pasteur Red Yeast for a steady, controlled and complete fermentation.
After crushing and fermentation, the wine went into barrels in early November and aged by separate varietal lots for three months until initial blending at the first racking in January. Barrels were 40% new and 60% neutral French oak with medium toast. The barrels originated from a region near the center of France. The wine spent an additional 22 months in barrels, during which time it was racked twice. A light filtration occurred just prior to bottling on August 31, 2005..
Rich garnet in color, the wine displays complex aromas of plum, toasty oak, cedar and chocolate. The following flavors are of spice, tobacco and ripe cherry. The wine is moderately acidic and has a long finish showing definite spice and red fruit. This wine is intended to age, and will contunue to evolve in the bottle for at least 10 years.
Appellation: Alexander Valley
24 average degrees Brix
Cabernet Sauvignon 55%, picked September 19, 2002
Merlot 7%, picked September 17, 2002
Cabernet Franc 18%, picked September 19, 2002