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Santa Barbara County experienced a very mild growing season in 2014 and below average rainfall for the third year in a row. An early budbreak led to an early harvest with near perfect conditions for ripening. Overall yields were good and quality was excellent.
This wine brings together three different varietals from the outstanding Estelle Vineyard located in the heart of Santa Ynez Valley. Planted in 1998, the estate features gently rolling slopes with shallow loam soils full of cobblestones of various colors and shapes. The warm days and cool, foggy nights make it ideal for Rhône varietals.
The Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre were picked together in the field and were co-fermented. This process allowed for maximum fruit expression of the Grenache, superb color extraction of the Syrah and excellent tannin structure from the Mourvèdre. Grapes were hand harvested and crushed into small fermentation bins. Following a two-day cold soak, the lots were inoculated with D254 yeast to initiate the primary fermentation. Maximum extraction was achieved by punching down the cap four times daily during peak fermentation, then twice daily until dry. After pressing, the wine was transferred to Côte du Rhône French oak barrels where it underwent malo-lactic fermentation and aged for 15 months.
This Rhône-style blend is deliciously expressive, exhibiting bold aromas and flavors of juicy blueberry, dark plum, smoked meat and dried herbs. The texture is supple and rich, supported by beautifully integrated oak from the Rhône cooperage. The tannin profile is superbly balanced, due in part to the co-fermentation of the three varietals. The wine culminates in a smooth, lingering finish.
130 cases produced Alcohol 14.3%