This wine is based on the concept of using super-premium grapes for top-quality dessert wines. The grapes are hand-harvested late in the season, towards the end of October or early November, when almost shriveled, with very concentrated sugars and flavors.
Production Notes: Late harvest. Slow, cool fermentation. Long maceration. No malo-lactic fermentation. Unfined & unfiltered.
Aging: 16 months, combination of American oak and stainless steel vats.
After destemming, fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, with addition of selected yeast. Due to the sugar richness of the grapes, fermentation is slow, allowing for gentle extraction of phenolics and aromas. Extraction is done by manual punching of the cap. The fermentation naturally stops when alcohol levels exceeds the yeasts tolerance levels. Pressing is done using a gentle basket press.
Due to the alcohol levels, malo-lactic fermentation does not occur. After settling, the wines are divided between 300-liter American oak barrels (coopered in France) and inert, stainless steel tanks. After 6 months, the oak-aged fraction is racked out barrels, which are filled with the tank-aged wines. Thus all the wine benefits from the slow micro-oxidation in barrels, while fruit freshness is preserved by the tank aging.
Following 16 months of aging, the wines are carefully racked until required limpidity is reached. No fining or filtration are done prior to bottling.
Robe is deep, dark crimson. The nose is rich and powerful, with ripe, black berry and plum, laced with vanilla, cloves and cinnamon. On the palate, the wine is concentrated and powerful, with firm yet silky tannins framing the lush, almost jammy fruit. Acidity is sufficient to balance the plush fruit. The wine will age for many years, developing layers of complexity.