54% cabernet sauvignon, 25% zinfandel, 11% petite sirah, 10% petite verdot
14 months in barrel, 20% new oak
The cabernet was destemmed, crushed and then put through an extended maceration from October 25th to November 17th, when it achieved complete dryness. It was immediately inoculated with yeast and was pumped over in a submerged-cap tank once per day for one hour at a time. Maturation was for 14 months in 60 gallon barrels with 20% new oak, 40% American and 60% French
The 2005 Alexander Valley Hillside Cuvée is dark violet in the glass, boasting a full bouquet of cassis and light herbal notes. Robust and full on the palate, the zinfandel in the blend adds a dazzling element of cherry and spice. A backbone of full but approachable tannins ensures this complex wine will age gracefully for up to 10 years in the cellar.
Our Big River Ranch in the Alexander Valley provides the various grapes for this cuvée. The cabernet is from a sunny, west-facing slope overlooking a bend in the Russian River. At 40 years old, these vines are in their prime, with a perfect balance of good yields and fully ripened fruit with great potential for complexity. The zinfandel fruit is from our acclaimed 110-year-old vines that are located on the same property.
The 2005 harvest began with an early budbreak in February and continued with limited rain in the early spring and no heat spikes. A cooler overall growing climate allowed the grapes to hang until their optimal ripeness. This resulted in more intense flavors as well as a leisurely, well-measured crush that extended fully into November.
Strictly limited production. Only 700 cases produced.