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Alexander Valley Tempranillo


  Above the Alexander Valley floor looms our mountainside estate. The small intensely flavored berries resulting from our rocky soils and western sun-drenched slopes produce this Tempranillo. Our 800-foot elevation Oak Mountain vineyard leans gently towards the southwest giving this heat - and sun-loving varietal perfect exposure.

Winemaking
Following hand-harvesting, the grapes were de-stemmed only (whole berries). Fermentations were conducted in a combination of open-top vessels with a punchdown device and closed tanks with gentle cap irrigators. Several types of yeast were used for both inoculated and uninoculated fermenting. Most lots were pressed directly to barrel, and malolactic fermentations finished in barrel. Post-fermentation, selected lots received extended maceration for further phenolic development. After one year, the wines were racked and returned to barrel for an additional year of aging.

Tasting Notes
This is a bold wine with plenty of cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruit and exuberant white pepper spice, fig and chocolate notes. There is a concentration to the extracted fruit and a slight tension within the youthful tannins that should allow this wine to improve for years. All this fruit and spice is backed up with vanilla, leather and smoke into a finely balanced wine that seamlessly glides over the palate.

Alcohol content, 14.7% by volume
2,550 cases produced


Connoisseursí Guide to California Wine

"Cut from similar cloth as its rather more dramatic sibling the Reserve Pinot Noir Carneros, this well-filled youngster is also emphatic in its ripeness, but it shows a bit more concern for balance and finds firming acidity a somewhat more evident player. Its initial palatal plushness will no doubt tempt some to early drinking, but a few years of age will better integrate its pieces and make for an altogether more polished presentation." One star.

Santé Magazine

"Light, bright black cherry aromas with a note of cedar. Silky smooth entry with ripe cherry fruit through to the finish." Recommended.

Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences

"Exceptional. Very complex wine despite almost pale color. Fresh cranberry and beet aroma, with hints of roses, and succulent fruit in the mouth that makes this wine one of pure elegance. Startlingly flavored for the lighter color."

California Grapevine

"Light brickish ruby; attractive, floral, delicate, smoky, cedary, cherry fruit aroma; medium to medium-full body; pleasant, elegant, earthy, smoky, light cherry fruit flavors; medium tannin; slightly lingering aftertaste. Shows good varietal character and is ready to drink now." Recommended.

Wine Enthusiast

"Deep berry aromas, with earthy and oriental spice notes. Good mouthfeel. Finishes with mild tannins and nice cherry, herb and earth nuances. Elegant."

Sacramento Bee

"The youthful and pretty Artesa Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (is) lively with the direct raspberry-blackberry fruitiness typical of the area."

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