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Adequate rainfall over the winter months led to a normal budbreak in spring. Good moisture in the soil spurred healthy vine growth and ideal yields. Temperatures throughout the summer and fall were in normal ranges, leading to a long growing season and excellent hang time for the fruit to ripen.
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 18 months.
This Rhône-style blend displays bold aromas of blackberry, plum jam and blueberry cheese cake with a touch of cured meat and white pepper. The texture is rich and velvety with hints of smokiness and a complex array of spicy fruit components thanks to co-fermenting of the three varietals. The well-structured but supple tannin profile and long, complex finish suggest a long cellar life for this wine.
143 cases produced Alcohol 14.9%