As farming goes, the 2011 growing season was my most challenging in 32 years. The spring was unusually cool and wet followed by an exceptionally cool summer. June rains during a late bloom reduced crop and July and Au- gust were the coolest on record. As harvest approached we had very light crop that was tracking 3 weeks behind the norm. Our Chardonnay was harvested on September 22nd and 29th then came the rain on October 6th, 7th and 8th. At this point our options were limited, drop all unusable fruit, pick the rest and make excellent wine or simply make bad wine. The choice was obvious, we made a small quantity of excellent wine.
2011 was a cooler than average year, delaying harvest into November. These cooler temperatures and extended ripening made for beautiful nuanced aromatics and a balanced lively wine. Flavors ripened at a slightly lower sugar, giving a elegant mouthfeel. Ferments lasted 10-15 days in small open top tanks. Malolatic progressed in French oak barrels, 15% new Billon Burgundy and 70% neutral 132 puncheons. The Syrah was blended into the Grenache early after harvest to help protect the delicate aromatics of the Grenache. The final blend was assembled in July of the first year and bottling was in February the following year.
An elegantly textured red wine with nuanced complexity, exuding layers of ripe cherries, spice and cigar box, offering a delicate lingering finish. This wine will take you to the Casbah!