• COMPOSITION: 58% Merlot, 33% Syrah,
8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec
• AGING: 19 months in French & American oak barrels
• pH: 3.74
• TA: 6.5 g/L
• ALCOHOL: 13.9%
• PRODUCTION: 4,925 cases
Vintage 2008 got off to a cold start with April’s record-low temperatures. This very cold spring kept the vines dormant longer than normal. Bud break (when the leaves begin to emerge from the bare vines) was delayed about two weeks. The shorter springtime quickly gave way to a beautiful Columbia Valley Summer, with average daytime highs in the upper 80’s and lows in the 50’s. This weather pattern continued through September. The overall growing season was cloudier than 2007, but despite this, our Kamiak red grapes developed extremely well in our well-tended vineyards. Harvest of 2008 Merlot began on September 25th and we finished bringing in the last of the Cabernet Sauvignon for the “Rock Lake Red” on the 5th of November.
Careful selection of the individual lots provides Kamiak with its unique character. All the grapes are harvested in ½ ton bins, then carefully destemmed and crushed. The must is gently pumped to open-top fermenters and allowed to macerate for 24 hours prior to yeast inoculation. Each yeast strain is selected to highlight the individual characteristics of the specific grape. Once fermentation is completed, the wines are pressed off, separating the wine from the remaining skins and seeds. The wine is then settled and racked twice prior to going to barrels. This allows any remaining plant material to settle out in tank while retaining the fresh fruity character and easy drinkability of the Kamiak Red. The wines are then allowed to age in a mix of French and American oak barrels, with just a touch of new oak for character. After 19 months of barrel age the individual wines are chosen and blended into the final Kamiak Red cuvee.
The interplay of the four grapes come together in the 2008 Rocklake Red to make an extraordinary wine. Aromas of smoked anise, violets, rose petal, wild game, pencil lead and cherry playfully intertwine with hints of juniper berry. The entry of this wine is soft and silky–lots of bright fruit flavors combine with savory elements sprinkled with black pepper. Tannins in this wine are firm but approachable and give the wine a lingering plum finish.