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The basis for the wine is the 2018 McGraw vineyard cabernet that was released in Spring of this year and it provided the structure and fruit while the addition of the estate Syrah softens the tannins and fills out the middle palate. The proportions of Cabernet and Syrah change each year, shaped by the conditions of the vintage and my assessment of cellaring potential and being able to be enjoyed upon release. This release of the 2018 is one of the best and will age in the cellar for 10+ years for those with time and good storage. Recommended with meat dishes or hearty foods or just to contemplate life’s many connections.
Serendipity seems to be a wonderful thing and the wine needed just a barrel of Estate Syrah to become this wine. While I might imagine that the Rossi fruit gives the structure, the Shumahi the sweetness and the Estate gives the aromatics, the blend works particularly well. Medium bodied and complex, it will accompany many different foods and is a wonderful expression of Sonoma Valley, of Syrah, and the 2018 vintage. I expect it will continue to improve for another 5 years.
It had equal components of the Estate Syrah, Ellen Syrah and McGraw vineyard cabernet. After topping barrels it ended up at 68% Syrah and 32% Cabernet. 32 is a special number for me as dad was born in 1932 and this wine became Bin 32, using the bin number scheme often used in Australia to designate where wines were stored for later labelling. This first Bin 32 may be my favorite wine from the vintage. Great color, excellent structure, ready to drink now or able to improve in the cellar for 10 years or more.
After the fire ravaged 2017 harvest, Random Ridge has bounced back with an excellent, albeit, very small harvest in 2018. My section, coming from the TeePee and Old Vine blocks, produced a scant 3 barrels, but the wine is a blockbuster. This is true Mt. Veeder cabernet; excellent tannin structure and brushy fruit notes that seem to reflect the chapparal of the hillsides. At its best with a steak or with time in the cellar.
The winery's flagship wine. A two bottle vertical selection of the 2017 and 2018 Syrah grown, produces and bottled here on the Estate. Both vintages were excellent to outstanding growing seasons and the wines are ready to drink now or hold for 5-8 years.
Old Zinfandel vineyards are mostly field blends of many different varieties and as they all ripen at different times, it makes a picking decision difficult. Throw in Zinfandel’s penchant for uneven ripening, and sampling becomes a real challenge! We’ll take the stress though, as these old field blends, and Rossi Ranch in particular, offer loads of delicious and intense flavors that work so well with bold flavored meals. This release is my second decade working with Rossi fruit and I’ve found that experience is the best teacher. I expect it will be at its best now and for the next 4-5 years.
Our Estate Syrah is a selection of the most intense lots made in 2017 and will be at its best with richer foods and will be a great candidate for aging in the cellar for another 5-8 years. More structured than the ‘16 version, it combines both the fruit and wild sides of the Syrah grape and is one of the best of the Estate Syrah’s to date.
The Cuvée Ellen label, a tribute to my grandmother Ellen is made from fruit grown here in Glen Ellen. The first Ellen Syrah was made in 2007, also with more restrained Syrah components, and that blend continues to show well today. This is a lovely wine that can be enjoyed now but should continue to improve for another 5-8 years. This wine is medium bodied, elegant and with lots of cherry fruit flavors and spice and will be at its best with food. I think this wine will improve for another 5-8 years but provides excellent drinking now.
Every version of the Sonoma Reds is different, but each continues a theme. A wine to enjoy with food and friends and always one that receives the same care and attention as any of my other wines. This one is based on Syrah and Zinfandel, with smaller amounts of Cabernet sauvignon and grenache but also has some rose and viognier left over from the Spring bottling. A wine to enjoy anytime for the next few years. Special case pricing is being offered.
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This Port is very much in the same mold as previous years though, perhaps just a little sweeter and richer than the ’14 version although that sweetness is balanced by cleansing tannin and acidity. (500 ml)