2009 Red Blends
March 31, 2011 § Leave a comment
As we finish up our 2011 pruning, we’ve also been finalizing the 2009 red blends and pulling them out of the barrel (where they’ve sat for ~18 months) to the tank (where they’ll sit until being bottled). Two of our 2009 reds – the 2009 Merlot and our blend, the 2009 Sunset Red – were bottled back in December, and while we’ve released the Merlot, which is the lightest, most fruit-forward of the 2009 reds, we have not yet begun pouring the Sunset Red in order to give it time in bottle. The remaining 2009 reds needed a bit more mellowing out and “melting” of tannins in barrel. I think they are now ready.
While I sincerely don’t make any wines I don’t like at Sunset Hills, what the harvest of 2009 gave us, in terms of red wines, are the types of wine I prefer to drink most while at home. The reds have bright red fruit, intriguing secondary and tertiary aromatics, with nice bracing medium-bodied volume, and, what I love most, is a heightened acidity which adds depth, and makes them go well with food. I tend to lean away from huge, mammoth wines personally, and more toward a crispness, a depth, or a singularity of intent. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a big Zinfandel or chewy Australian Shiraz (heck, I’ve been known to relish in a nice old Norton from time to time), but for the most part I like my wines with more depth and less breadth, if that means anything.
Anyway, I’m excited to be putting the finish touches on our 2009 reds, because I think these wines have a lot to offer. In June, we’ll bottle the 2009 Cabernet Franc, 2009 Reserve Cabernet Franc, 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2009 Tannat. (If you notice a lack of Petit Verdot in here, you’re not alone; we didn’t have enough of a crop in 2009 to produce a varietal Petit Verdot. I’m sure I won’t hear the end of this, especially as it means a lack of Petit Verdot magnums.) Also, we’ll bottle our 2010 Reserve Chardonnay, which I am pulling to tank literally as I type this.
I’ll give you guys my tasting notes on these wines after they’ve had some time together in tank, and closer to when we bottle them and release them.