The Vintage: The 2018 season had an interesting but moderate mix of conditions. The year started slowly with little pressure from the weather providing the grapes with a long hang time to develop ripeness and flavor maturity without over-ripening. In early October, Mother Nature delivered a quick tango of heavy rain that prompted us to use canopy management techniques to open the fruit zone, allowing the sun and wind to dry out the remaining fruit. Even though more than an inch of rain fell during the middle of harvest, it had no impact on Cabernet and little or no impact on Zinfandel grapes. Overall, fruit quality has been excellent with very little shrivel and little or no rot. Our harvest began at a somewhat normal time almost a month later than 2017.
Winemaking: The grapes were harvested by hand on October 24th, 2018. After hand-sorting the grapes were destemmed only for 100% whole berry fermentation. After a few days of cold soak, the wine was fermented by indigenous (“native”) yeast at relatively low temperatures. The extended maceration lasted 31 days on the skins. The wine was aged in 35% new oak barrels( French Oak) the rest were neutral oak barrels.
The Vineyard: This prime hillside Alexander Valley Vineyard is owned by Dr. Siegemund and is biodynamically farmed with minimal irrigation and fertilizing. The location is just south of Cloverdale. The entire vineyard is only 5 acres on five different blocks. The vines are closely spaced and bask in a Southeastern exposure. The aCure eState Cab grows in high-mineral-content decomposed serpentine and granite, shallow with low fertility.