42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc
Aged in 100% French oak, 50% new and 50% 2nd vintage barrels coopered from select forests of Boutes, Millet, Taransaud and Vicard for 22 months.
Crushed gently and dropped by gravity into 1.5 ton bins, cold soaked 48 hours, inoculated with a variety of yeasts, hand punched and pressed directly to barrel, where the wine finished both primary and secondary fermentations. The varietals were kept individual until blending at 12 months to create the Vineyard Reserve blend.
A cold spring put the grapes way behind at bloom, continuing through set and veraison. A mild summer with weeks of ideals grape ripening conditions began to catch the fruit up but not enough to make a normal start to harvest. Harvest began 4 weeks later than normal but the weather was gorgeous and the first freeze didn’t come until Thanksgiving, well after the finish of our harvest.
Ciel du Cheval Vineyard located in the Red Mountain Appellation was the first vineyard planted on Red Mountain in 1972. Owner Jim Holmes farms the vineyard on this revered site and credits the success of Ciel du Cheval, to “dirt and climate, climate and dirt.”