Grown high on the slopes of Howell Mountain, the vines of Stout Vineyard produced a spectacular expression of mountain-grown Merlot in 2018, with enticing aromas of black plum, currant, and boysenberry, as well as hints of olive, graphite and chocolate-covered blueberries. On the palate, juicy flavors of ripe red berries are framed by dusty mountain tannins that promise a long life ahead, while also driving the wine to a bright, beautifully structured finish.
For both red and white grapes, 2018 offered near picture-perfect growing conditions, with mild spring and summer weather, and no significant heat events. The conditions were ideal for both our Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, which show beautiful tropical notes and ripe flavors at low sugars. While our Chardonnay harvest began about three weeks later than normal, the fruit arrived at the winery in pristine condition, producing dynamic and complex wines. The excellent growing conditions naturally resulted in a slightly larger than average crop for our red Bordeaux varieties, with fully lignified seeds at low sugars levels. With temperate weather throughout fall, we were able to pick each block at optimal ripeness, yielding exceptionally juicy and polished red wines, with plush, well-rounded tannins, and lovely overall structure.