Each time we do a bottling of the Rouge, the “Friends of the Family Wine Club" members email us, commenting we should do it every vintage…sorry, but maybe I should change the name….maybe I should call it Blue Moon or Eclipse – because it only happens when things line-up just right. Only 3 times in our 12 year history, and only when the blend is something unique and magical…when the result is not just a variation of the two varietals that make-up this wine but a special personality all its own. It is not a special technique in the winemaking – it is not any different practice in the vineyard. In our usual winemaking rhythm, my son Cole and I are always tasting, barrel by barrel, to determine our next moves to advance the wine to the next stage. During that time we are doing trial blends with the various different Pinot Noir blocks from our property, some with different fermentation regimes or yeast strains etc.; and since I discovered the combination of Syrah and the Old-Vine Zin that created the first bottling of this Rouge in 1999, we also look at variations of the Syrah and Zinfandel from our Estate vineyards.
Yes, the blend is always good, but when you have had it, which many of you have, you know what I mean when I say that it has its own personality…not just Syrah that is a little like Zin or visa versa – but a wine that morphs in aroma and flavor, to this layered rich, juicy exotic red wine – you will see what Michael meant by “Savage yet Sophisticated” Full bodied, smoky, spicy, black and red fruits that also have a very sensual side to them, violets and lavender and sun-baked herbs.