2013 Eighteen Miles Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 750ml
Manufacturer: GrapeSeed Wine Fund
Brand: Eighteen Miles
The Russian River Valley appellation is famous for the fog that creeps in from the Pacific Ocean through the Petaluma Wind Gap and the river channel, lowering temperatures and extending the growing season. This Pinot Noir comes from an area along Westside Road, which runs parallel to the Russian River for a stretch. Vines here take deep root in alluvial Arbuckle and gravelly loam soils and develop fruit of concentrated varietal character. We harvested grapes for this wine before dawn to keep the fruit as cool as possible; in the cellar, a four-day cold soak extracted their delicate aromas and color. Fermentation took place in small bins, with manual punchdowns. The wine aged four 14 months in 100% French oak (1/3 new, 1/3 one-year old, 1/3 2-years old). The 2013 growing season in Russian River Valley got off to an early start and remained slightly ahead of schedule throughout the mild summer. The great weather lasted into harvest, and Pinot Noir came in with perfectly balanced fruit and acidity.
2014 Naked Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley Washington 750 mL Wine
Manufacturer: Naked Winery
Brand: Naked Winery
A warm spring and summer with no heat spikes produced an early vintage and we were blessed with no significant rain at harvest. There was little to no disease pressure and alcohol levels remained moderate allowing for flourishing intense flavors. In the end, we think this will go down as a great year for Washington wine.
2015 House of Independent Producers HIP Cabernet Sauvignon 750 mL
Manufacturer: Hedges Family Estate
Brand: House of Independent Producers
2014 was warm early and stayed warm until harvest, the hottest since 1998. Ripe and the Brix that go with it were no problem this vintage and it was very fast, short growing season. Heat began early and remained constant which helped plants and fruit clusters acclimate to the extreme heat. With nights still cooling berry shrivel and raisining was nonexistent. With little to no rainfall throughout the year mildew problems were of no concern. One problem for wine makers was the early ripening of all varieties which made it challenging for harvesting grapes at their optimum. However, our long term relationships with our growers and vigilant testing (and the earlier than usual picking that went with it), helped us to pick grapes at their optimum.
The fruit was hand-picked when ripe, and immediately taken to the winery for crushing. The berries were bursting with flavor. What a harvest! Wine is full of fruit flavors! Tastes of dark plums,black cherries, anise and cloves.Hints of vanilla and nutmeg. Soft tannins with a long finish. One of our best vintages!
In 2013, the growing season was early, starting with a warm wet spring, then an exceptional summer that briefly yielded to a wayward storm in late September. Harvest of ripe fruit began at Firesteed's Estate Vineyard on Hwy. 99W on September 16th, then three days later at our Erratic Oaks Vineyard on Ballard Road. Picking continued there and several other selected sites around the Willamette Valley, finishing up on October 15th. Our 2013 Pinot Noir continues the Firesteed tradition of a consistent fruit driven style, achieved with gentle techniques in the cellar and imagination in the vineyard. The grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks with selected yeasts propagated from cellars in Burgundy, pressed during the last days of fermentation, and racked as soon as the wine finished malo-lactic fermentation. A touch of barrel-aged wine was included in the blend to round out the flavors and enhance complexity. Lively and expressive, this wine's aromas of raspberry, cinnamon, blueberry and flavors of cocoa powder and Rainier cherry encourage second sip before flowing into the soft, lingering finish. Wine Analysis pH: 3.59 TA: 5.50 g/l Alcohol: 12.0%
In 2014, we selected the majority of our Pinot Noir from Olson Ranch Vineyard, which is located in the renowned Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. The vines on Olson Ranch sprawl along the sides of the Highlands, where they receive optimal sunlight and cooling Pacific breezes. The 2014 growing season was warm and dry throughout, leading to early ripening and eventually an early harvest. Ripe, fruit forward flavors with a crisp acidity are characteristic of this vintage in the glass. The balance of this wine was sourced from the Santa Rita Hills AVA in Santa Barbara County, another cool coastal growing region renowned for producing classic Pinot Noir wines.