An interesting mineral note appears on the back of the palate, and firm, silky tannins hold the wine together. The finish is a lush thirty second trail of perfectly ripe, Bing cherries.
The backbone of this 2008 Sangiovese comes from the Game Farm Vineyard in Oakville. The vineyard lies in dense, stony subsoil that mimics mountain growing conditions. It was selected for its Brunello clone and shallow, rocky soil. In these soils, the Sangiovese struggles to produce the highest quality grapes possible. The balance of the grapes were grown in the heart of the Napa Valley. The 2008 harvest was nearly ideal with picking beginning earlier than average. The majority of the 2008 grapes were harvested on September 11th, at an average of 25.7 degrees Brix, under optimal conditions.
Fermentation was allowed to occur naturally over a period of three weeks, using only native yeasts. The wine then spent another twenty-one days in an extended maceration before pressing. The extended skin contact allowed us to coax out the subtle nuances and midpalate texture that we strive for in our Sangiovese. Portions of the Merlot were blended in to contribute rich, berry flavors and Petite Sirah, for tannins, color stability and longer aging potential. The wine was aged for 20 months in 18 percent new French oak barrels from Billon, Bossuet and Treuil. The wine was bottled in August, 2010 without any fining.
Sangiovese 75%, Merlot 20%, Petite Sirah 5%