2018 Gusto Rosso
Dry Creek Valley
Grenache (57%), Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Petite Sirah (13%)
Vineyard: Our estate vineyard in Dry Creek Valley, known as the "Vinegrove," is a few hundred feet up from the valley floor, providing respite from the hottest days of summer. The nearly 30-year old vines are planted in fine Laughlin loam soils and are organically farmed. The center swale rolls through several exposures, allowing for balance and elegance in our Grenache. The steep south-southwest facing corner block has the most porous earth and soaks up afternoon sun, creating richly-flavored and densely-structured Cabernet. Petite Sirah receives the first rays of morning sun, but otherwise stays cool in the lowest spot in the vineyard, bolstering acidity and color.
Winemaking: This wine is essentially a field blend, crafted by harvesting Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirah from separate blocks at our estate vineyard on the same day and fermenting them together in one closed-top tank. After a three-day cold soak, fermentation began spontaneously with wild yeast, and the must was racked and returned using gravity fed "bin-overs" once per day during the “low and slow” cool temperature fermentation. After pressing, the wine spent thirteen months in French oak puncheons, one-third of which were new, before it was racked and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Vintage: On the heels of a stressful 2017, growers and winemakers were thankful for a return to an uneventful but fruitful vintage in 2018. A cool spring started off the ideal growing season with a near-perfect fruit set in the spring, and summer temperatures were moderate with fewer heat spikes than the previous years. As a result, harvest started two to three weeks later than during the recent extended drought, but along a more historically typical timeline. The long hang times and even ripening yielded wines that show concentrated flavor and structure without being over-ripe.
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