ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley

• COMPOSITION: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Syrah
• AGING: 20 months in French & American oak barrels
• pH: 3.85
• TA: 6.30g / 100mL
• ALCOHOL: 13.8%
• PRODUCTION: 1,012 cases


Vintage

We cultivated our 2010 vintage during one of the coldest years in memory. Toward the end of August, later than we had ever seen, our grapes were just beginning to go through veraison, the change from hard green berries to soft plump fruit. With still no warm weather in sight we made the difficult decision to go through the vineyard and thin the crop. Wherever clusters were sitting on top of one another or the fruit load looked too heavy for the vine, we removed whole clusters of fruit. With less fruit to ripen the vines gradually picked up the pace but with the fall harvest looming we were still not sure the crop would ripen in time. Our prayers were finally answered when a beautiful Indian summer came upon us in September, when we had a week of +80°F weather and a week of +70°F, and the grapes finished their ripening nicely. The result was fruit of exceptional character with an excellent balance of acidity and ripeness.


Winemaking

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 2010 Tradition is no exception, being composed of two Syrahs and two different Cabernet Sauvignons, all small-lot fermentations of outstanding character. After 15 months of individual aging, these four wines were blended in tank and returned to one-year-old barrels for additional maturation. This added time in barrel not only allowed these wines time to marry, but the once-used barrels added subtle and complex oak nuances prior to bottling, which took place on the 8th of August.


Winemaker Comments

The 2010 Tradition emotes dark fruit on the nose, reminiscent of ligonberry jam with a touch of smoked ham. Flavors of cherry jubilee and coffee wash through the palate while smooth, supple tannins coat the mouth. The marriage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah brings a unique and proud expression to the Gordon Estate portfolio.