2016 Reserve Malbec 750ml - copy

2016 Reserve Malbec 750ml - copy

Alexander Valley

Vineyard: After farming a small test plot of Malbec for several years, in 2010 we planted a 10 acre block of Malbec (clone 9 on 101-14 rootstock). Prior to developing the block, we dug 30 pits to evaluate the soil profile: vigor potential, effective rooting zone, and water table depth. Ultimately, we planted 12,512 vines; varying vine spacing and irrigation output to correlate with the varying soil profiles throughout the block.

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 into mid-October. The grapes for the Reserve Malbec were harvested on October 11 & 12, 2016, at an average of 24.8 o Brix.

Winemaking: We harvested in the cool hours from midnight to sunrise. The grapes were destemmed and crushed to stainless steel fermentation tanks. After a four to five day cold soak, the lots were inoculated with AWRI Fusion yeast. Pressing was done “to taste,” based on daily, at times hourly, tastings of the wines after pumpover. The newly pressed wines were racked to tank and allowed to settle before barreling. The Reserve Malbec was aged in 79% new (57% French, 22% Hungarian) 60 gallon oak barrels for 20 months. Primary coopers were Trust, Nadalie, Demptos and Boutes.

Reserve Status: We regularly taste through our lots of Bordeaux reds. Exceptional lots and barrels are designated as potential blending components for our Reserve wines; criteria are intensity of fruit, complexity, suppleness, color and potential for longevity. The Malbec was once again so impressive we only used a small amount of Cab and Merlot in the blend.

Tasting Notes: Pending




98% Malbec, 1.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 0.5% Merlot

Vineyard Location

HANNA Red Ranch Malbec block 1 and Cab blocks 7 & 33, Merlot block 15

Age of Vines

Seven years

Alcohol:  14.8%

pH:  3.77

Titratable Acidity (TA): 0.5 g/100 mL

Residual Sugar:  0.00%


Harvest Date       

October 11 & 12, 2016


Avg. Brix at Harvest 



Malolactic fermentation

100% of blend


Length/Type of Aging

20 months in 60 gallon 79% new (57% French, 22% Hungarian) oak barrels. Trust, Nadalie, Demptos and Boutes cooperages.


Bottling Date

July 2, 2018


Number of Cases 336



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