75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot
100% French oak Chateau-style barrels (60 gallons)
Barrel Aging: 18 months
Age of Barrels: 85% new, 15% second vintage
This wine displays a beautiful, layered nose with red fruit aromas of strawberry and cherry, supported by refined notes of hibiscus, French thyme, slate and leather. On the palate, seamless oak and balanced tannins underscore an elegant, food-friendly structure while supporting lovely flavors of maraschino cherry, rose hips and graham cracker piecrust.
In one of the coolest growing seasons in memory, we benefited greatly in 2011 from our 35 years of experience farming Bordeaux varietals. To counteract uneven vine growth due to unusual spring weather, we did meticulous green thinning. We also gently opened up the canopy to expose the fruit, were judicious in our picking schedule, and sorted meticulously both in the vineyards and winery. The majority of our Merlot came in before the October rains, and due to our quality adjustments the remainder of our fruit fared well until it was harvested. Warm up-valley locations like Oakville, Rutherford, St, Helena and Calistoga were particularly successful, and overall the resulting wines are pure and elegant.