2016 Bismark Titan 750ml
Vineyard: Our Bismark Mountain Ranch is high above the city of Sonoma and San Pablo Bay. Here on the southwestern flanks of the Mayacamas Mountains plantings include Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon amid outcroppings of Rhyolite. We began planting in 1991 and continue to fine tune our mix of cultivars to this day. This is steep ground; shared with Creosote bush, Grey pine, coyote and mountain lion. Topographically it is like the Douro. Windy, sun drenched yet moderate in temperature, Bismark grudgingly produces grapes with an intense, deeply concentrated flavor. Bismark’s unique terroir is both fierce and alluring.
Vintage 2016: Following adequate winter rains, the 2016 growing season began early again as the trend toward warmer winters continues. There was almost no frost pressure and the season progressed without significant weather worries. A single heat spike in July was short lived. This was followed by a glorious, easy ripening August and September that allowed the grapes to hang until late September. The grapes for the Bismark Mountain Cab Franc were harvested on September 27 to October 12, 2016 at an average of 28.2o Brix.
Winemaking: The grapes were sorted, destemmed and partially crushed to stainless steel fermentation tanks. Pressing was done to taste, based on frequent tastings of the wines during pumpovers. The newly pressed wines were racked to tank and allowed to settle before barreling. The wine was barrel aged on lees for 20 months in 43% new French and Hungarian oak.
Tasting Notes: Opaque and purple in the glass, the 2016 Titan had me fast scribbling as our tasting panel gushed adjective after adjective in a staccato of impressions. Star Anise, violets, red currant, cranberry, grape essence, goji, Costa Rican coffee, Linzertorte and blackberry. A very friendly giant, it is stuffed with velvety tannins and rendered lithe with bright acidity.
Variety: 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot
Harvest Dates: September 27 to October 12, 2016
Age of Vines: 15 - 23 years
Number of Cases: 297
Brix at Harvest Average: 28.2
Malolactic Fermentation: 100%
Length/Type of Aging: 20 months in 60-gal oak barrels
Oak Types: 43% New French & Hungarian
Bottling Date: August 8, 2018