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The 2015 growing season marked the fourth consecutive year of record-breaking drought in California, which provided little water for the vines during their winter dormancy. Budbreak came early in March due to a couple of dry and sunny months, and was shortly followed by the biggest storm of the season.
The young buds survived the heavy rain but just a few weeks later suffered crop damaged due to windy conditions during fruit set. This was the first major setback of the vintage, drastically reducing the number of berries per cluster.
As the long, arid summer progressed, it was clear the vines were exhausted from pushing through years of drought. Yields further decreased to 40-50% of the average.
The small harvest proved precarious for our production team, as most vineyard blocks picked were well below their average and consequently, below the capacity of our fermentation tanks. Ensuring we preserved the identity and character of each clone or block was imperative to team. This meant that close to 90% of all fruit was fermented in microfermenters, 1-1.5 ton vessels, which essentially quadrupled the amount of man power needed to manage fermentations.
The redeeming feature of harvest was by far the phenomenal quality of the fruit. In all our vintages, never have we seen such compact, intensely flavored fruit. Though we wish we had more, we’re looking forward to sharing these densely structured and captivatingly balanced wines with you.
Nose: Complex, with layered aromatics of exotic spice, dark cherry, plum and a touch of maple. Elegantly restrained with notes of basil, charred citrus peel and fennel pollen.
Mouth: Powerful, with fine tannins that envelope the palate. The wine is grand and highly structured, with a lingering finish of blueberry, cherry and cranberry.
”AS THE LONG, ARID SUMMER PROGRESSED, IT WAS CLEAR THE VINES WERE EXHAUSTED FROM PUSHING THROUGH YEARS OF DROUGHT. YIELDS FURTHER DECREASED TO 40-50% OF THE AVERAGE.”
Our plan was always to release the wines once they had time to develop. We’ve always believed that a little extra time in our cellar makes the experience a little better in yours. While these wines are enjoyable now, they will certainly benefit from age and cellar gracefully over the coming years. If possible, we recommend decanting before enjoying.
Harvest Dates: 8/22/15 till 9/9/15
Clones: 23, Swan, 37, Calera, CC, Pommard
Alcohol: 14.2% pH: 3.57 Acidity: 6.0
Production: 1158 c/s Yield per acre: 1.96 tons