The season started with early bud break followed by a warm, near perfect growing season. The fruit ripened early, initiating an extremely early harvest. These conditions produced very promising fruit with concentrated flavors and good acids, small berries, intensely flavored juice, and beautiful ruby color.
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 Bordeaux Red yeast for a uniform, 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 35% new and 22% one-year-old French oak with medium toast. The new barrels originated from a region near the center of France. The wine was racked twice. A light filtration occurred just prior to bottling. The wine received about two years of barrel aging and a year eight months in the bottle before release. This wine is intended for aging; we recommend cellaring from 5 to 25 years.
Cassis, vanilla, and ripe berries on the nose with some roasted coffee, pencil shavings, and balanced oak. Rich, sweet attack, creamy and full in the mouth. Very complex flavors of dried herbs and roasted cocoa with long flavors.
25.4 average degrees Brix; pH 3.51
Center Block Cabernet Sauvignon 43%, picked September 06, 2004
South Block Cabernet Sauvignon 23%, picked September 11, 2004
Merlot 34%, picked September 16, 2004
Bottled, August 15, 2006.