characteristically perfumed nose of blackberry compote, dark plum, blueberry and loganberry complemented by sweet oak and forest-floor spice scents.
Dense and powerful on the palate, it offers deeply concentrated black fruit flavors that are augmented on the long, savory finish by briary spice, mineral and dark chocolate tones.
2011 was a challenging vintage. The year began with a wet winter and spring, followed by atypically cool summer weather and several October rainstorms. Not surprisingly, our Dancing Bear grapes ripened slowly, resulting in a prolonged harvest. To address the situation, we thinned fruit from our vines to ensure full ripening of the remaining clusters and sorted meticulously through the grapes at the winery so that only the best berries were sent to the crusher. This helped achieve our goal of making a typically intense and complex Dancing Bear.
The challenge in crafting Dancing Bear is to fully capture the intense mountain character of the fruit without extracting overly aggressive tannins. Winemaker Julianne Laks’ approach is to carefully monitor tannin levels in the juice and wine during fermentation and maceration. After the component lots of Dancing Bear achieve an optimal balance of fruit intensity and tannin, we drain the free run wines from their skins and age them in French oak barrels. The 2011 vintage spent a total of 19 months in barrels, 46% new, prior to bottling in December, 2013.
19 months in French oak, 46% new