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IsabelCuvee_2006_header
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Vintage: 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007
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Appellation: Mendocino
Vineyard: McDowell Valley
Varietal: Syrah
Clone: 75% n/a + 25% Estrella
Age: 40-100 yrs
Elevation: 950 feet
Soil: Gravelly loam
Yield: <1 tons/acre
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Harvested: Oct 11, 2007
Pressed: Nov 3, 2007
Blend: 75% 1910 block, 30% WC & 25% Estrella
Maceration: 23 days
Barrel aging: 20 mos. in 1-3 yr FO barrels
Bottled: Unfiltered on July 7, 2009
Production: 108 cases
Release date: Spring 2010

 
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hdr2_WinemakingNotes
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We have 2 blocks of Syrah at McDowell, both from the old Gibson Ranch originally planted in 1894.
The oldest vines and 75% of our blend, are planted on their own roots and date back to at least 1919.  The field blend includes Durif, Carignane, Pelourcin and Aubun in addition to the Syrah. Our other block was propagated from the original plantings in 1948 and budded onto St. George rootstock. As far as
we know, these are the oldest Syrah vines in production in California. We do not make wine in plastic. Never have and never will.  All of our reds are fermented in open top wood vats. Like all of our red wines, we only use the machine for whatever level of de-stemming is desired. In this case only we
de-stemmed 70% leaving the rest whole cluster. Crushing is achieved via pigeage à pied (foot stomping). Wild yeasts are employed without nutrients or other enhancers. We punch down by hand
up to 3x daily which is an extreme work with 30% whole cluster! The cooperage was a mix of 1-3 yr
old French oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation was natural and completed by early summer.

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Tobacco, spice, black and blue berries all dance out of the glass followed by pencil lead, anise, underbrush and leather.  The palate on this pure firmly structured Syrah offers impressive muscle and depth with lively acidity and long and silky tannins that coat the mouth for a long and lush finish that lingers for minutes.