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Wines

VINTAGE NOTES

After the historically early 2015 vintage 2016 returned to a more typically timed harvest. Bud break, bloom and fruit set occurred on time and a typical heat wave gave ripening a push with Zinfandel harvested in September while the Bordeaux varieties, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon came in in October. Rains held off until all the fruit was in the barn.

2017 started out in a typical fashion, perhaps a bit early but the heavy rain in winter and spring necessitated some cluster thinning. This allowed for good ripening and we picked all but the Malbec by October 8th. That night a series of fires started which caused massive damage and fatalities over next next few days. None of our vineyards were damaged nor was the remaining Malbec near the fire. However, access was blocked and we finally harvested the Malbec on the 21st of October. Finishing the wine without electricity was challenging but compared to lives and property lost a minor inconvenience. The wine is resting in barrels and showing quite well.

2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON SONOMA VALLEY

For the 2016 vintage, we again traveled 1,700 feet up into the Mayacamas Mountains to the Montecillo Vineyard for their famous Cabernet Sauvignon. This west-southwest exposure vineyard produces small berries with intense flavors ad 2016 was no exception. The cabernet was harvested at ideal ripeness and fermented in small containers, as were the Stemach Petite Verdot and Woolard Malbec. Upon pressing, the three components were individually racked into French oak (25% new), for 20 months. The blending trials isolated the perfect blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petite Verdot and 5% Malbec. Five barrels were produced.

Tasting notes: Again, the deep purple hue sparkles. The nose is redolent of cassis and dark fruit of a mountain Cabernet. The flavors of black fruit, cassis, dark chocolate, plum and vanilla linger on and on. A wine worth the climb.

Pricing: 2016 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - $40.00/750 ml bottle*
*1/2 case 10% discount, full case 20% discount

2016 SIRIUS RED BLEND SONOMA VALLEY

Following the award-winning inaugural 2015 vintage, the 2016 is primed to impress again. An illuminating blend of 40% Montecillo Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Stemach Petite Verdot and 20% Woolard Malbec was aged for 20 months in French oak (25% new), blended and bottled.

Tasting notes: A saturated deep ruby/purple hue that glitters in the sun. A rich aroma of black fruit, cassis, mint, dark chocolate and subtle vanillan oak. Cocoa, mint, blackberries, herbs and vanilla explode on the palate and linger. The Dog Star shines down on this vintage.

Pricing: 2016 Sirius Red Blend - $40.00/750 ml bottle*
*1/2 case 10% discount, full case 20% discount

2015 CABERNET SAUVIGNON SONOMA VALLEY

The 2015 vintage was one of the earliest if not the earliest harvest on record.  The Wild Oak Vineyard came in on September 17th at 1/2 the quantity due to a small crop found throughout the North Coast.  Clyde and I had planned to acquire some other Bordeaux varieties in the future but the future was now.  In Sonoma Valley we were able to purchase a small quantity of Malbec from the Len Woolard vineyard and some Petit Verdot from the Stemach Family vineyard, also in Sonoma Valley.  Both are highly regarded vineyards.  Both were harvested latter September and early October. All three lots were fermented separately and racked to French oak, 25% new.  After extensive blending trials we decided on a 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec and 10% Petit Verdot blend. After aging for 20 months the wine was bottled.  Four barrels were produced.

Tasting Notes: A rich deep purple hue captures the eye.  On the nose the wine displays dark plum and cassis typical of Cabernet.  On the palate the Cabernet contributes the textbook varietal notes of cassis, dark fruit, chocolate and a suggestion of mint with firm but fine tannins while the Malbec adds a richness and complexity and a lengthening to the finish. Drinking well now but also an ager.

Pricing: 2015 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - $35/750ml bottle*
* ½ case 10% discount, full case 20% discount

2015 ZINFANDEL SONOMA VALLEY

We harvested the Zinfandel on August 20th, the earliest ever for us.  We again chose the Montecillo vineyard, 1500 feet above the Sonoma Valley with a west exposure.  The 70 year old head trained vines again gave us a small but intense crop of exceptional fruit, rich but with balancing acidity.  We fermented in five lots and combined them after pressing and racked into French oak barrels, 25% new.  We also fermented a small quantity of Petite Sirah from the Wild Oak Vineyard.  From our blending trials we concluded that 10% Petite Sirah and 10% Malbec added both color, tannins and complexity to an already delicious wine.  The wine was aged for 19 months before bottling.  Four barrels produced.

Tasting Notes: The rich deep purple wine coats the glass.  On the nose boysenberries, black cherries and a hint of white pepper evolve from the glass.  The palate is exposed to a rich mouthfeel, firm tannins and a long finish enhanced by balancing acidity.  The flavors evolve and expand in the glass.

Pricing: 2015 Sonoma Valley Zinfandel - $30/750ml bottle*
* ½ case 10% discount, full case 20% discount

2015 SIRIUS RED BLEND SONOMA VALLEY

The 2015 vintage is the premier of this wine.  We produced Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot and thus the components.  The Wild Oak, Woolard and Stemach vineyards provided the fruit.  Fermented and aged separately, we decided on a 40% Cabernet, 30% Malbec and 30% Petit Verdot blend.  While each variety contributes its own individual character the blend exemplifies the sum being greater than its parts. Named for the Dog Star, three barrels were produced.

Tasting Notes: Deep garnet hue displayed suggests an exceptional wine.  The aroma is a complex mix of cassis, mint, plums, chocolate and blackberries.  The mouthfeel is one of structure and richness with a lingering finish.  The flavors are black fruit, cocoa, herbs, mint and vanilla. A youngster evolving.

Pricing: 2015 Sonoma Valley Sirius Red Wine - $35/750ml bottle*
* ½ case 10% discount, full case 20% discount

2015 DOG TIRED RED SONOMA VALLEY

In 2012 we made 1/2 barrel of a blend of roughly equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah.  we were surprised how well the wines married and matured that we decided to do it again.  The blend is predominantly Monticello Zinfandel (70%) with 15% Wild Oak Petite Sirah and 15% Woolard Malbec.  The separate lots, aged in French oak, were blended and bottled.  The name and drawing describes us after each harvest.  Four barrels produced.

Tasting Notes: Deep purple in the glass.  The nose is dominated by the boysenberry and spice of the Zinfandel while the Petite Sirah contributes pepper and the Malbec a black fruit note.  On the palate the wine is rich and mouthfilling with a long finish. Enjoy.

Pricing: 2015 Sonoma Valley Dog Tired Red - $25/750ml bottle*
* ½ case 10% discount, full case 20% discount

2014 MONTECILLO VINEYARD ZINFANDEL

The 2014 Zinfandel is from the Montecillo Vineyard, an old vine head-trained vineyard located high above the Sonoma Valley on the western flanks of the Mayacamas Mountains. The grapes were harvested on September 6 (an early harvest) and crushed into small tanks where the wine fermented for 12 days undergoing 3 punch downs per day for color extraction, then basket pressed. We picked a small amount of Russian River Valley Petite Sirah and fermented it separately. Two percent of the Petite Sirah was blended into the zinfandel, then the wine went into 25% new and 75% used French Oak barrels for 22 months before being bottled on July 20, 2016. A total of 150 cases of the 2014 Zinfandel were produced.

Tasting Notes: Deep red color, with a brambly black fruit and French Oak nose redolent of a mountain zinfandel. On the palate, bright red raspberry fruit with subtle oak and a well balanced acid finish. This is a sterling example of an old vine mountain zinfandel. 15.4% alcohol

Pricing: 2014 Montecillo Vyd. Zinfandel - $30/750ml bottle*
* ½ case 10% discount, full case 20% discount

2014 WILD OAK VINEYARD CABERNET

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Wild Oak Vineyard in the Sonoma Valley was harvested on September 23, de-stemmed and cold soaked for 3 days prior to fermentation. After fermenting for 14 days, the wine was pressed into 25% new and 75% used French Oak barrels and racked post malolactic fermentation. The wine was barreled for 22 months then bottled July 20, 2016. A total of 125 cases of the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon were produced.

Tasting Notes: Bright purple-red in color with a rich aroma of dark plum and cassis with gentle French Oak overtones. The flavor is a generous cassis, plum and chocolate with a bright acid and tannin finish. Five to 15 years of patience will pay wonderful dividends, but early consumption will satisfy your current desires, especially with a nice ribeye steak. 14.2% alcohol

Pricing: 2014 Wild Oak Vyd. Cab Sauvignon - $35/750ml bottle*
* ½ case 10% discount, full case 20% discount