As stated last year, the vineyard site where the grapes came from are at a crossroad between Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast, located South of Sebastopol. It shows characteristics of both AVA’s: Generosity of fruit from the Russian River Valley with tannic and acidic structure from the Coast. The unevenly set and ripening berries (hens and chicks – seedless, tiny berries mixed with some less ripe, seeded ones) causes it’s amazing concentration to be hitched to appropriately balancing structure.
The 2017 vintage was another one where significant heat and dry winds arose around Labor Day. While this site is a bit later than most of the area North of Sebastopol, the heat did advance ripeness and richness rapidly, giving us a tad more dark fruit than 2016. However, there is still a ton of red fruits here.
Aromas of red cherry and plum tart, hints of almond, and fresh pastry crust get the juices flowing. There’s also super-ripe cantaloupe perfume with air time. Rather than sweet and luxurious, this shows a great balance between angles and rounds. The acidity leads, with mouth filling red and black fruits, hints of cassis on the mid-palate being followed by the refreshing and appropriate tannin which then comes full-circle to the upward trajectory of salivary-eliciting tartness. There is cassis and substance enough to work reasonably well with beef. However, I think duck is an even better fit as the flavors and acidity really drive the ship here.