ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley
• COMPOSITION: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Syrah
• AGING: 22 months in French and American oak barrels
• pH: 3.87
• TA: 6.2g / L
• ALCOHOL: 13.9%
• PRODUCTION: 465 cases
In 2009, with cold weather persisting well into May, we had serious concerns about our Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah ripening by harvest time. Fortunately, the cool spring quickly transitioned into a hot summer, with record-breaking heat in July and August. This heat wave brought with it worries of overripe wines with little acid. The worst didn’t happen, thankfully, because temperatures eased in early September and remained cooler than normal except for a brief heat spike in mid-harvest. We waited patiently for flavor development and began harvesting Syrah on the 1st of October and concluded harvesting Cabernet Sauvignon on the 15th of October.
The key to Tradition has always been blending, selecting unique expressions from our vineyard that, when combined, create a sum that is greater than the individual parts. Our 2009 Tradition is no exception to this rule, being composed of two Syrahs and three different Cabernet Sauvignons, all small lot fermentations of outstanding character. After 15 months of individual aging, these five wines were blended in tank and returned to one-year-old barrels for an additional maturation. This added time in barrel not only allows the wines time to marry together, but the once-used barrels add subtle and complex oak nuances prior to bottling, which took place on the 25th of August.
Fresh fruit dominates the nose and palate of our 2009 Tradition. A veritable berry compote of huckleberries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries with a touch of watermelon on the side. Hints of clove and vanilla add to the wine’s complexity. Sweet and lush on the palate, with firm, savory tannins flowing into a lingering finish of cedar with a pinch of horehound. Bringing a remembrance of summer to a cold winter night, this wine will warm body and soul.