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Mirum est notare quam littera gothica, quam nunc putamus parum claram anteposuerit litterarum.
Our 2017 Left Bank Red is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot. Both vineyards are planted in the gravelly soil at the south end of our Conn Valley ranch, on the left bank of Conn Creek as it flows through our property on its way from the top of Howell Mountain to the Napa River in Rutherford. The soil profile from a recent well drilling has shown the gravel deposit on this section of the vineyard is almost 40 feet deep, and with the combination of nearby sandy-loam and basalt soils, serves as an ideal spot for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to mingle. Both parcels are certified organic with CCOF, and we practice modern sustainable farming, seeding them each fall after the harvest with a customized cover crop seed mix, which is mowed, then plowed under the following spring to replace those nutrients taken up by the vines during the growing season.
Winemaker Tadeo Borchardt focuses on small yields, grown on vines propagated from heirloom budwood selections. Each vineyard is separately hand-harvested, and each cluster is closely examined on our sorting table before de-stemming. Fermentation is carried out using only native, wild yeast, and the separate wines are aged in a combination of new and used 60-gallon French oak barrels. We bottle the Left Bank Red after 14 months of barrel aging, without fining or filtering the finished wine. The blend is immediately appealing, with its combination of bright raspberry flavors balanced by the charm of the wild cherry component of the Merlot. The gravelly soil provides a subtle hint of minerality, making the wine both complete and complex. We bottled 2200 cases, all of them from estate grapes grown on our 45-acre Conn Valley Ranch.
~ Bruce Neyers
Coteaux du Languedoc Grès de Montpellier Rouge :
• Mourvèdre and Grenache are de-stemmed, Syrah is not
• After fermentation, wine is assembled and aged in foudre for 12 months
• Wine is unfined and unfiltered
30% Syrah, 50% Mourvedrè, 20% Grenache, average age of the vines is 25 years.
Blackbird Vineyards’ winemaking duo, Aaron Pott and Kyle Mizuno, are the artisans behind ÆRENA Wines. Their relationship was once that of mentor and student, but after years of collaboration, they are family. To spend time with them is an exploration of wine, replete with quick wit and belly-clutching humor.In farming and winemaking, Aaron and Kyle strive to communicate a vineyard’s sense of place–by working the wine at the right time to expose the best characteristics of variety and site. According to Aaron, “In almost all definitions of art in the dictionary, there is a reference to ‘human works of beauty.’ ÆRENA believes wine certainly fits under this classification. It is an object created by human intervention that creates something beautiful. Wine is unique as art in that it is ephemeral; once it is consumed, it is gone. Aaron wholly appreciates working with Kyle. So it is appropriate that when asking Kyle to define their winemaking philosophy, his retort is, “Let the wines speak for themselves and don’t screw it up.”
Ar. Pe. Pe. is one of the best traditional wineries from the mountain region of Valtellina near the Swiss border. Here, the Nebbiolo grape attains the finesse and precision of Pinot Noir. This scrumptious, Burgundy-style red is full of sweet red berries and a firm tannic grip on the end.
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