Dark blood red color all the way to the rim. Roasted red peppers, black cherries and dusty oak notes on the nose. Clearly a riper vintage, but without any of that stewed fruit character – instead this is bright and fresh. Palate is warm and inviting with grippy tannins. The wood tannins a little showy (Dec 2020) and will integrate in time and show more of a cigar box note, with that black fruit. Can’t wait to see this in a few years – should hit its stride by 2022 and last another decade at least. The best way to describe this wine would be to suggest that it tastes like a quality left bank Bordeaux property, got together with a benchmark Napa Valley property, and had a baby!
89 points James Suckling March 2021 – “Aromas of blackberries, currants, rose petals and grilled green capsicum. It’s medium-bodied with firm, fine-grained tannins. 88% cabernet sauvignon and 12% cabernet franc”.
Viticulture in this vineyard is practiced without fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides – only natural products are used, together with biological pest control & controlled surface irrigation with mountain water (rich in minerals and sediments). Harvest is carried out manually in 25-30 lb crates to avoid berry damage. By harvest, the vines have undergone two bunch selections: the first after flowering and the second at veraison. Upon arrival at the winery, the third bunch selection is carried out manually on sorting tables to separate immature, dry or withered grapes, before destemming takes place. A lengthy maceration, lasting 25-30 days, then follows in open tanks. Fermentation temperature is 86-90°F to enhance anthocyanin extraction. “Pumping up “ and “Punching down” procedures are performed daily. Fermentation and maceration of all 7 components of this wine are carried out separately, given the different maturity points. Once alcoholic fermentation ends, wine is racked to 100% new French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. Following this stage, barrels are cleaned and wines are returned for 4-5 months more, to develop character. Then the “assemblage” is done and the final cuvee is returned to barrel for 10 more months. The wine is then moved to a “cold chamber” for 60 days, at very low temperature for stabilization, before being bottled without filtering. Bottle ageing lasts a year before market release.