2017 Reserve Malbec 750ml

2017 Reserve Malbec 750ml

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 2017: A welcome, very wet winter filled reservoirs. Spring frost was absent. A relatively dry, cool spring led into a summer with alternating cool and very hot periods. Blocks that were blooming during extremes suffered some shatter but overall the crop size was average. A cool, drippy August was followed by a Labor Day heat wave that pushed harvest into high gear. Temperatures then moderated into a glorious, easy ripening September and early October. The Malbec and Saint Macaire were harvested on September 27 at 25.6 o Brix, and the Cab was harvested on October 14, 2017.

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 62% new French Oak barrels, coopered by Treuil, Trust, and Boutes, for 20 months.

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 Saint Macaire and Cab in the blend.

Tasting Notes: An alluring gravitas is immediately apparent upon pouring. Intense aromas of blackberry, anise, clove and violet erupt from the glass. Flavors of sarsaparilla, vanilla, blueberry pie and espresso pile on deliciously, weaving elegantly with the wines massive but richly wrought tannins.

Variety: 94% Malbec, 5% Saint Macaire, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon

Vineyard Location: HANNA Red Ranch Malbec block 1, St. Macaire block 32 and Cab block 4

Age of Vines: 8 to 16 years

Alcohol: 14.8%

pH: 3.59

Titratable Acidity (TA): 0.56 g/100 mL

Residual Sugar:  0.2%

Harvest Date: Sept 27 – Oct 14, 2017

Avg. Brix at Harvest: 25.6o

Malolactic Fermentation: 100% of blend

Length/Type of Aging: 20 months in 60-gallon 62% new French oak barrels. Coopered by Treuil, Trust and Boutes.

Bottling Date: March 25, 2020

Number of Cases: 195


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