2019 Rendez-Vous Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon
Star Springs Ranch
Malbec (65%), Cabernet Sauvignon (35%)
Vineyard: Ellis Alden Vineyard sits at an elevation of 1400 feet along the sun-drenched western slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains in the Alexander Valley. Isolated within a sprawling 4,000 acre ranch, the 200 acres of vines enjoy a pristine growing environment, above the fog line and sheltered from wind, frost, and negative pathogens. Our Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a prime hillside spot on the North Knoll with southern exposure that packs the grapes with powerful structure and expressive flavors. Malbec is planted on dense serpentine volcanic rock, leading to a dark mineral expression of this unique variety.
Vintage: The 2019 growing season began with heavy rains in March and April, which allowed soils to store up plenty of water to weather the dramatic heat spikes we witnessed in June and mid-August. Other than those brief events, the growing season was relatively mild and we were able to take advantage of the extended hangtime from this mountain site. Harvest for both varieties occurred on October 8th and yielded grapes with bright, expressive fruit flavors and balanced acidity despite higher sugars. The long hang times and even ripening yielded wines that show concentrated flavor and structure without being over-ripe - an ideal California vintage.
Winemaking: Our Malbec from Ellis Alden Vineyard was destemmed into one open-top tank, where it cold-soaked for several days before fermentation started spontaneously with wild yeast. Fermentation was aided only by a bit of heat and daily pump-overs for two weeks before pressing. The wine aged for 24 months in once used French oak barrels and was bottled unfined unfiltered.
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