A relatively average growing season, with a nice hang time, produced uniformly ripe fruit with concentrated flavors and excellent acids. The crop was exceptionally small which, fostered grapes with very intense flavorful juice, and bright 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 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 24 months in barrels, during which time it was racked twice. A light filtration occurred just prior to bottling.
Complex aromas of vanilla, dark fruits, herbs, brown spice and smoky oak. Flavors of sweet black current, oak, herbs, spice and smoke. The wine has a long finish showing definite spice and red fruits.
24 average degrees Brix
Cabernet Sauvignon 55%, picked September 19, 2002
Merlot 7%, picked September 17, 2002
Cabernet Franc 18%, picked September 19 ,2002