The 2005 growing season was an exceptionally long, very warm growing season. The fruit ripened fairly late, which gave it the winemaker's dream of "long hang time." This situation produced very promising fruit with concentrated flavors, 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 44% new and 56% neutral French oak with medium toast. The barrels originated from a region near the center of France. The wine spent an additional 20 months in barrels, during which time it was racked twice. A light filtration occurred just prior to bottling on August 18, 2007.
Casses, vanilla and ripe berries on the nose with some roasted coffee and balanced oak. Rich, sweet attack, creamy and full in the mouth. Very complex flavors of dried herbs and roased cocoa with long favors.
Appellation: Alexander Valley
25.1 average degrees Brix
Cabernet Sauvignon 78%, picked October 15, 2005
Merlot 11%, picked October 1, 2005
Cabernet Franc 11%, picked October 4, 2005