Each varietal plays it part, yet all contribute to the harmonious crescendo of dark black fruit, dark plum, spicy cardamom, nutmeg, and dried herb flavors. The finished piece is mouth-filling with fine tannins and closes with luxuriously, long notes of rich dark berries and spice.
Just as the composition leads to a musical piece of beauty, so too, the right plots of land lead to the most beguiling wines. When Robert Mondavi chose the To Kalon Vineyard as the home for his new winery, in 1966, he remarked “It was a vineyard with a distinguished history and a magical nature. Ideal soils, sunlight, and rain—to my eye, the vineyard was a treasure.”
Another record harvest, 2013 saw consistently beautiful weather leading to optimal ripeness in what is being called an ‘epic’ year. There was almost no rainfall from January through March, bringing an earlier than usual budbreak. April provided a few small rainstorms to quench the vines, and warm weather followed. With just one heat spike in late June and early July, the growing season provided weather for optimal flavor development in the grapes resulting in an early and healthy harvest.
The grapes were hand-harvested into small bins and carefully sorted in our gravity-flow cellar. The clusters were gently destemmed directly into traditional French oak tanks for cold soak, fermentation and extended maceration – a total of 33 days of wine to skin contact – maximizing the extraction of varietal character and complexity while keeping the tannins fleshy and supple. The new wine was drained and gently pressed into 75% new French-oak barrels for malolactic fermentation, assuring seamless integration of fruit and oak.
The final blend was assembled through repeated tasting trials over the 21 months of barrel aging.