2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 750ml 2-Pack
2010 was a challenging year for late ripening varieties such as Cabernet sauvignon, and is likely to be a disappointing vintage for fans of big, high alcohol, in your face Cabs. We did not produce a Victory reserve blend, and bottled very limited amounts of single vineyard Cabernets. Our Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon blend benefitted from the “declassification” of these other wines, but still required careful selection. One result was a higher volume of The Duke blend.
We took full advantage of our blending options, including Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec – the first time we’ve used five varieties in our basic Cabernet Sauvignon. As a result, this wine has great complexity, with similar structure and balance to the 2009 – good body with nice acid balance, rich tannins and good length.
2009 Syrah, England Crest, Sonoma Valley 750ml 2-Pack
We’ve been making Syrah as a varietal wine since 1993, and have worked with Syrah grapes from eleven different vineyards during that time. Along the way, we’ve learned a lot about the best vineyard conditions and winemaking techniques for Syrah.
When Bruce and Judy England purchased the “Old Walker Place” next door to our vineyard they approached us with a proposal to grow Merlot for us. We countered with a request for Syrah, with the belief that the combination of soils and climate was ideal for high quality Syrah. Peter had major input on clonal selections, rootstocks, vine spacing and trellis system, and co-manages the vineyard with Bruce. Our vineyard foreman, Jose Mendoza, does all the pruning and is in charge of all cultural practices. Englandcrest Vineyard provided two thirds of the fruit for our wonderful 2002 Syrah, and beginning with the 2003 vintage has been bottled separately, as a vineyard designate.
Aromas of blackberry and cassis, with notes of coffee, cinnamon and caramel and the unmistakable smoky-gamy-bacony Syrah signature. The entry is rich and plush and the finish long with some lingering tannin.
2009 Zinfandel, Meek's Hilltop Ranch, Sonoma Valley 750ml 2-Pack
George and Abby Meeks purchased the historic Hilltop Ranch twenty years ago. The ranch had been the site of a pre-Prohibition winery, and still had a small block of ancient vines (a field blend) and a block of Chardonnay that was planted in the 1960’s.
Concentrated blackberry fruit with hints of cherry and raspberry and hints of black pepper. The entry is smooth and full, and the flavors echo the aromas, with the addition of a hint of dark chocolate. The finish is long and smooth.