ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley

COMPOSITION: 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot
AGING: 32 Months
BOTTLED: February 16, 2001
pH: 3.75
TA: 0.55 g/100 mL
ALCOHOL: 13.7%
PRODUCTION: 425 case


Vintage

The 1998 vintage was warmer and earlier than usual. Adding to those favorable temperatures, the ripening season was very dry. Conditions such as these typically produce fully mature grapes with intense varietal character. Due to those circumstances, our Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were harvested very early, on the last week of September. The Merlot was picked even earlier, and was fermenting well by mid-September.


Winemaking

After crushing and adding yeast, we monitored the alcoholic fermentation while pumping over the must two to three times a day. Following fermentation, the wine was pressed and racked a few times. After 10 months, we selected our favorite barrels and racked the wine to French oak for a more delicate aging process. The total barrel aging process took well over 30 months and allowed for a delicate integration.


Winemaker Comments

A dark ruby appearance shows the great concentration of the wine. Remarkable for its complexity, the nose offers impressive aromas of cedar, pepper, spice, mint and chocolate. The smooth and velvety palate, with layers of currant, black cherry and spice flavors, is framed by nuances of toasty oak. It finishes with a well-focused, fruity finish punctuated with dashes of herb and cedar. A bright, but well-integrated acidity will allow our 1998 tradition to age beautifully.