2018 Riserva di Casa
Dry Creek Valley
Grenache (53%), Petite Sirah (47%)
Tasting Notes: Composed of mouth-watering Grenache (aka Cannonau) and inky-colored Petite Sirah (aka Durif), the Riserva di Casa is the most cellar-worthy wine from our estate vineyard. There's solid depth to the violet, blackcurrant, strawberry, and blueberry aromas on the expressive nose of this blend. Polished tannins and a grippy texture uphold those weighty fruit flavors on the palate, wrapped with a firm tension of sweet spice and crushed black rock.
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. 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: Both the Grenache (50% whole-cluster) and Petite Sirah from our estate vineyard were fermented spontaneously with wild yeast in open-top tanks at cool temperatures, and treated gently with gravity fed rack and returns for cap management. After pressing, the wine spent thirteen months in French oak barrels, one-half of which were new. The barrels for this blend were selected specifically for their aging potential, and once compiled the wine was 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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