We originally planted in 2013. 431 plants -- 287 of Malbec and 134 of Cabernet.
The root stock of both was # 3309C, which is draught and disease resistant. The 2016 year being our first of grape production, was a challenge.
We had a temperature inversion, at the vineyard and there was 30 hours of 112 degree heat. We lost about 70% of the Malbecs, and about 25% of the Cabernets.
We harvested by hand the Malbecs, Sept. 1st 2016 and the Cabernets were harvested by hand, Oct. 3rd, 2016. Both yielded about 1300 pounds.
They were processed and fermented separately, and were combined once we went to barrels.
Cold Soaked – ( Dry Ice -- 225 pounds ) 2 days prior to fermentation
Primary Fermentation 11 days
Secondary Fermentation – 10 days
Malolactic Culture + nutrients, added for secondary fermentation
Post Fermentation 390g Tartaric Acid added to adjust titratable acid,
And to bring down the Ph to 3.73 from 3.98
Yeast – Hybrid / BDX ( cultivated in Bordeaux ) – Malbec & Cabernet
Racked and Filtered to 5 Microns prior to bottling.
Alc. 13.8% Malbec 67% Cabernet 33%
The yield was 12 cases of original blend, that we kept in a breathable container for 10 months, with sleeves of oak staves.
The Reserve yield was 24 cases and was barreled for 20 months in New French Oak Barrels, from the Allier Forest, and put together by the Italian Cooperative Company, Garbelletto.
The barrel was toasted to Medium Plus.
On the nose there is rose, violet, earthy, blackberry, tobacco, black pepper, light oakiness, and a touch of vanilla. It is a beautiful color of red garnet to ruby, with a good pink rim. On the palate, you can taste the flowers, the fruit, the earthiness, with a medium (+) soft tannin and medium (+) acid. It has a medium to full body in the mouth, and has a medium to long finish.
Since the blend is the same, it is fascinating to smell and taste the difference.
The difference in aging is stylistic … Sleeved Oak Staves for 10 months and the much longer 20 months in the New French Oak Barrels. Body and taste of fruit is more forward with the younger of the blends. Medium body and as it opens up, more of all the flavors are available. Soft in the front to the rear of the mouth. More complex with the longer aging. Fuller body, and the spices are more noticeable. Still soft in the mouth from front to rear, and a very smooth lingering after taste, that stays in the mouth for a long time.