A late winter held the vines dormant longer than usual. During bloom, northern California was hit by a particularly strong weather system, disrupting fruit formation, and the estate yielded its smallest crop since 1996. Warm summer weather helped to avoid a seriously delayed harvest; picking began on schedule in early October, and was complete by early November. Small berry size resulted in rapid color and tannin extraction. Press wine was aged separately, allowing excess tannin to precipitate, then added at eighteen months. Abundant fruit and richness permitted us to use a greater percentage of new and one-year-old airdried american oak in aging. Twenty-one months in barrel and six racks off the settled lees have brought integration and clarity. Elegant structure and the rich, briary fruit typical of our Santa Cruz Mountains estate combine to give the wine immediate appeal. An excellent vintage, it will continue to develop over the next twelve to fourteen years. 58% cabernet, 42% merlot.
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