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2014 Cuvée Alis, Sonoma Valley, Estate Vineyard

92 Points - The Wine Advocate, Feb 2017
Retail Price $48.00
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2014 Cuvée Alis, Sonoma Valley, Estate Vineyard
Varietal: 69% Grenache, 22% Mourvèdre, 9% Syrah
Appellation: Moon Mountain District Sonoma County
Vineyard: Amapola Creek Estate Vineyard -CC)F
Brix: 24.7°
TA at harvest: 5.9 g/L
pH at harvest: 3.3
Harvest Dates: September 1, 2014
Barrel Aging: 18 months in new and seasoned French oak
Alcohol: 14.9%
Winemaster: Richard Arrowood
Production: 575 cases

The Vineyard

Our Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre are organically grown in several small vineyard blocks high above Sonoma Valley on a sun-washed western slope of the Mayacamas Mountains. These blocks comprise a tiny part of our 100-acre ranch, which borders and shares red, iron-oxide volcanic soils with our neighbor, the highly acclaimed Monte Rosso Vineyard, a source of superb wines for well over a century. We have situated our vines in the perfect spots for each variety. The Syrah and Grenache are planted on the upper property, in a block we call Bobcat Run, which lies in a cool hollow open to the southwest, with rows running north/south for good sun and warmth without excessive exposure. The Mourvedre, a slower ripening variety, is on a steep and rocky sliver of hillside with thin, well-drained soil and heavy exposure to the sun.

The Vintage

The weather during the growing season in 2014 was perfect for wine grapes, largely dry and warm, but not overly hot. We were fortunate to have had such a great harvest on the heels of the excellent 2013 vintage. The weather was as good as one could expect. The growing season began early, with a warm and dry spring, and the weather stayed beautiful all the way through an early harvest. The quality and quantity of the fruit were exceptional. The grapes were hand-picked between September 1, 2014 and September 23, 2014.

Tasting Notes

This wine opens with mellow notes of orange peel and allspice. Swirl the glass for a moment, and you will start to uncover a hint of camphor and smoky pine resin. The palate is big and round, opening with fat dollops of juicy purple fruit. Take a moment, and you will find the palate opening up on characters of cola and black pepper, underscored by a mild savory flavor of warm confit. Pause to consider the mouthfeel, gentle, rich with supple tannins that underscore the luxurious nature of this wine. The finish is long and decadent, recalling the deep fruit flavors from the early palate, along with the barest hint of black tea and vanilla.