1100 CASES PRODUCED 18 MONTHS IN 30% NEW FRENCH OAK
100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, blended from all three of our estate vineyards. 2013 is a benchmark vintage for California Cabernet – the heart of the drought and a time when historically dry weather produced historically great wine. The 2013 Estate Cabernet is dark purple in color and full of dark aromas: violets and chocolate and plums. Still, for all that fruit, this wine takes time to open in the glass. It’s delicious now, but it’s gritty. Give it another decade in the cellar to be at is best.
The 2015 Home Chardonnay comes from our vineyard on Chalk Hill Road, first planted in 1972. It’s a fabulous site for Chardonnay, and since we started making this wine in 2005, we have honed a technique to produce Chardonnay that represents the exceptional character of the vineyard, leaving out the things we don’t like in most California versions of this varietal. Our Chardonnay is made without any new barrels or malolactic fermentation. Defined foremost by its freshness – bright, crisp, and fruit-driven – the 2015 is a bit younger and brighter than recent vintages. The aroma ranges from honey to lemon peel to mango. There’s a ton of citrus in the finish too, along with the signature minerality of this aptly named vineyard.
350 CASES PRODUCED
18 MONTHS IN 25% NEW FRENCH OAK
100% varietal from our Red Winery Vineyard first planted in 1973. The 2014 shows lots of fresh fruit on the nose – blueberry and blackberry stand out most. The French oak adds a touch of nutmeg. It’s a bigger, darker wine than even the two great vintages that precede it. Beautiful now, better in a few years.
300 CASES PRODUCED 24 MONTHS IN 30% NEW FRENCH OAK
We planted this vineyard 20 years ago, but I still think of it as the youngster of our three ranches. It is in the mountains between Chalk Hill and Knights Valley, in country that is as much wilderness as farmland. The vineyard is named for its steeply terraced front hill, but every bit of it is extremely rugged. Soils are thin, and the blocks are planted with aspects in every direction and a variety of exposures. This environment yields small, thick-skinned grapes and dark, powerful wine. The 2013 Pyramid is an extreme of its type; while it’s big and intense every year, in 2013, the perfection of the season amplified these qualities to create an extravagant, bursting wine with incredible color and depth. The wine has a purple hue, and the aromas and flavors are blue-black: roasted meat, blackberries, blueberries, Santa Rosa plum, coffee. This is a huge, young wine that needs at least five years to mature.
315 CASES PRODUCED 24 MONTHS IN 30% NEW FRENCH OAK
When I consider the wines of our past that show a combination of great finesse and ageability, the 2003 Red Winery Cabernet always finds its way to the front of my mind. That 2003 Cabernet, the first vineyard designate we ever made, shows a great deal of similarity to the same wine from the same vineyard made ten years later. Even though it’s years from being ready to drink, the 2013 Red Winery is already incredibly voluptuous and mouth-filling. The same cherry and baking spice that I detect in this wine every year are there in the 2013, but both the spice and fruit character come across as darker and more brooding: black cherry, allspice, a touch of dark chocolate. This wine shows well right now and will continue to improve for ten years.
600 CASES PRODUCED 24 MONTHS IN 30% NEW FRENCH OAK
The Stone Vineyard is so named for two reasons: my mom’s maiden name is Stone, and the ground in which the vineyard grows is almost all rock. My mom and dad planted it in 1972, right at the southwestern edge of Alexander Valley – a relatively cool site for Cabernet. In a warm year like 2013, the wines from this vineyard shine. The tannic backbone and herbaceous, briary character that are the signature of this vineyard are there in 2013, accompanied by a ripeness and richness rarely achieved in past vintages. Plan, as usual, to hold this wine for a while. While the 2013 is more accessible than most vintages from this field, there is a roughness in the rocky soil that translates in the wine. It has a salty, mineral character, even in its ripest vintages, that makes the lushness of the wine more compelling and also makes it last.