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Ample winter rainfall in 2017 was welcome after five years of drought and set up excellent budbreak, bloom and set. Optimal temperatures throughout the growing season allowed for even ripening, and harvest dates returned to normal ranges. Yields were healthy and overall quality was exceptional.
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 grapes were hand-picked into half-ton bins and crushed into the same tank to be 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. Following a two-day cold soak, the lots were inoculated with D254 yeast to initiate the primary fermentation. Maximum extraction was achieved by pumping over four times daily during peak fermentation, then once 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 displays bold aromas of dark plum, ripe boysenberry and black currant with touches of cured meat, white pepper and fennel. The texture is rich and velvety with hints of smokiness and layers of spicy fruit components. The tannin profile is superbly balanced, due in part to the cofermentation of the three varietals. The wine culminates in a long, seductive finish
202 cases produced Alcohol 14.6%