Vintage: The 2003 vintage was an exceptional
harvest. Unusually high springtime temperatures affected berry set; on average
yields were down 20%. Normal summer temperatures allowed the small crop to
ripen and easily reach full maturity. The wines from this vintage are extremely
intense, with powerful aromas, rich flavors, and firm acidity.
Vineyard: Tempranillo is the noble grape of Spain. It is the predominant varietal in the wines from the famous Rioja region, where it is sometimes blended with Garnacha (Grenache), Graciano, and Mazuelo (Carignan). In 1998 two acres of Tempranillo were planted on an isolated knoll in the southern part of the Truchard Estate Vineyard. The vines grow in volcanic soils and benefit from the cool Carneros temperatures. Tempranillo makes a unique, spicy wine, with deep purple color, lush texture, and firm acidity.
Harvest: October 30 • 24.6 ºBrix • 3.73 pH • 7.0
Winemaking: The fruit was gently destemmed and crushed into an open top fermenter with approximately 20% whole berries. The tank was inoculated with Pasteur Red yeast and punched down twice daily throughout the fermentation. The temperature peaked at 88º F. After 14 days of maceration, the lot was pressed and allowed to settle in tank before going to barrel. The wine was aged for 10 months in both French (85%) and American (15%) oak; 25% of these barrels were new. The wine was racked only one time before being bottled in August 2004. This wine is 100% Tempranillo. It is very approachable right now, but will reward careful cellaring for the next 7 - 10 years.
Wine Analysis: 14.1% alcohol • 3.82 pH • 6.4 g/l TA
Tasting Notes: Rich aromas of plum and black cherry; highlighted with tea, cedar, and tobacco. The mouth is smooth and round: filled with flavors of plum jam, red currants, and sweet vanilla. Chalky tannins focus the palate and provide a lingering finish of red fruit, mineral and spice.