ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley
• COMPOSITION: 50% Syrah, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon
• AGING: 22 months in barrel with 40% new French oak
• pH: 3.55
• TA: 7.0g / 100mL
• ALCOHOL: 13.8%
• PRODUCTION: 498 cases
Our 2012 vintage endured a roller coaster of changing weather. With no hint of the pandemonium to come, spring began on time with normal temperatures. This quickly gave way to unusual temperature fluctuations, with a brief heat wave in April, followed by a downward temperature spike and unsettled weather. Once again in May the heat returned, only to again quickly give way to cold and rain. As summer began, our June was cold and damp while July brought humidity and thunderstorms. Lightning-caused fires created an enduring smoky haze which blew continually across the Columbia valley. In August the sticky heat turned to dry and we reached triple-figures for a few days. September brought only slight relief to the heat, which meant the fruit was ready for picking just as the transition to fall took place. Finding an intensity to the fruit brought on by the heat, we harvested our the fruit for this blend from the 28th of September through the 25th 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 2012 Tradition is no exception, being composed of two Syrahs and four 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 12 of August.
The 2012 Tradition delivers dark fruit on the nose, reminiscent of blackberry jam with a touch of smoked meat. Layers of cherry jubilee and coffee roll 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.