Dear Family, Friends, and Wine Club Members:
It’s been a very successful year in the cellar! Harvest 2016 had near perfect conditions for physiological ripeness and for the first time in many years flavors were ahead of sugars, which moved quite slowly throughout veraison allowing us to pick at the optimum time. The resulting wines should be pure, focused, and intensely flavorful! In addition, we harvested nearly 50% of our red fruit from the estate vineyards: Angela’s, Taylor Mag, and Oldfield. I’ve been waiting patiently for the vines to gain age, grow deeper roots, and produce the quality of fruit that can be put into our label. Now that they are approaching 10 years in the ground the quality is incredible!
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes – the last of the 2016 harvest
As for the current release, the 2013 reds include Big Papa, Upright, and Nana. These wines are big, bold, and concentrated! If you are looking to try them early, they respond well to decanting and hold up for days after opening. The vintage yielded dark wines with big tannins and the best wines retained ripe fruit flavors. I’m particularly proud of these wines. For those of you who were lucky enough to stop by for the 2013 Petit Verdot release, you experienced how intensely flavorful this vintage is. This wine is the first red bottled of Taylor Mag Vineyard on Red Mountain and definitely displays what we can do with our estate fruit. Look forward to a Syrah and Cabernet produced in very limited quantities to join the estate series soon!
As we come to the end of the harvest season we look to the red wines of the previous vintage for a glimpse, or snapshot, of where they will end up. The 2015s are blended and resting quietly in oak, waiting for the big day when they move into their new homes – the bottle. Look forward to ripe, fleshy wines that are broad shouldered and concentrated with present, yet supple tannins.
The 2014 reds bottled this summer will need another 6-12 months in the bottle before being ready, but early tastings show a superb vintage. There is elegance to this vintage revealed in dark, well-shaped wines that are light on their feet. They’re a little quiet at the moment, but man they’ll be shouting soon! In the meantime, look to the ‘12s and ‘13s for immediate appeal. These wines are stunning! The ‘13s are just hitting their stride, which should last through 2020-22. The 2012s have entered their window and are ready to drink! In particular the Big Papa and Upright (…and I think we may have a few cases of Tough Guy left).
As I wrap up harvest and this letter it is with mixed emotions that I write farewell and bon voyage to Rebecca Germano, my assistant winemaker. She has been a great support in and out of the cellar for 3 harvests and will be leaving after the holidays to attend the Oenology and Viticulture Program at Lincoln University, New Zealand. She is a rising star and has the work ethic, attention to detail, and palate to take her wherever she wants to go in this industry. We wish her the best. Her successor, Chris Truxilo, has joined our team after a 6-year run at Ramey Wine Cellars in Napa. Be sure to introduce yourself next time you stop by!
As always, thank you for your loyalty and support. I look forward to sharing my wines with you in the months to come.
Peter Devison, Winemaker