ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley
• pH: 3.58
• TA: 0.63%
• ALCOHOL: 13.9%
• PRODUCTION: 399 Cases (750ml)
The 1997 growing season offered near ideal conditions, with a slightly warmer than average growing season and a long, mild fall. Our vineyard, located on a warm site along the Snake River, particularly benefited from this weather and produced concentrated grapes offering intense flavors and a deep color. We harvested the Merlot from our estate vineyard on September 29th and our Cabernet Sauvignon on October 7th.
We pressed our various lots after eight to ten days of marceration and racked the resulting wine into barrels. The wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels for thirty months. The French oak helps refine and adds elegance to the wine, an extensive barrel aging is necessary as it will mellow and stabilize the wine tannins through controlled oxygenation. After aging, we tried various combinations and determined that our Cabernet Sauvignon would be the major blend component (64%) for its soft and elegant structure while 35% of Merlot would bring spiciness and bright cherry notes, increasing overall complexity. An additional dash of 1998 Syrah (1%) brings a hint of fresh violet. Our 1997 Tradition was bottled unfined (without clarifying additives) and unfiltered.
Our 1997 Tradition offers a dark garnet red color and beautiful aromas of coffee, spice with a whiff of violet. This wine shows solid prune and black currant flavors at the core, shadded by hints of chocolate and toast. The density of fruit, extract, and structure enables this wine to be the best enjoyed after a few years in the cellar. For an early consumption, decanting will expose the richness and multilayered texture of our 1997 Tradition.