2018 Sonoma Valley Überblend by the case

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Headlined by Petite Sirah at 47%, and co-fermented with 21% Carignane, 18% Grenache and 14% Alicante Bouschet, the ’18 Überblend is the ultimate expression of a Red Blend from the Mathis Vineyard. Intensely aromatic, with notes of licorice, tar, raspberries and Provençal herbs overlaying dark, plummy fruits, this is clearly a “serious” wine, and as such is best paired with rich and savory dishes.

PRODUCTION NOTES 

VINTAGE: 2018 
APPELLATION: Sonoma Valley 
VARIETAL(S):
  47% Petite Sirah
  21% Carignane
  18% Grenache

  14% Alicante Bouschet 

VINEYARD: Mathis Vineyard 
HARVEST: September 23-30, 2018
AGING: 30 months, in French oak barrels (25% new)
ALCOHOL: 14.4% 
CASES: 97 
pH: 3.6
TA: 5.9 g/L

TASTING NOTES

Highly focused and intense aromatically, with notes of licorice, tar, raspberries and Provençal herbs overlaying dark, plummy fruits. The tannins of the Petite are readily apparent, gentled by the sweet fruitiness of Grenache and brightness of the Carignane and Alicante. This is clearly a “serious” wine, and as such, is best paired with rich and savory dishes that will stand up to its intensity and grip. Enjoyable at release, it will continue to evolve and mature for at least 20 years.

VINEYARD DESCRIPTION

Mathis Vineyard - Early Morning, Grenache, Sonoma Valley

Mathis Vineyard covers a 7.5 acre plot, situated in the hills above the town of Sonoma, on a warm, south-facing slope. The soils are volcanic in origin, low vigor, with underlying rhyolitic rock. The nearby San Francisco Bay, visible from the vineyard, provides a cooling influence and allows for extended hang time at harvest. The 2018 vintage yielded 2.7 tons per acre.

FERMENTATION

All 4 varieties (Petite Sirah, Carignane, Grenache and Alicante Bouschet) were combined at picking, then co-fermented in 1.5 ton open top bins using the native yeasts on the grapes. Approximately 25% of the fruit was uncrushed when going into the bins (whole cluster) adding to the bright clarity of fruit characters in 2018. The cap was managed with 2-3 punch downs per day until dryness. Pressed after 13 days on the skins.

GROWING SEASON

A drought year, but with healthy Spring rains coming after mid-February, the vines got off to an excellent start - late season rain being the most important in shallow hillside soils like Mathis. Fruit set was good in spite of the rains, and yields were above average. Lengthy hot spells in mid-summer sped up ripening and we had to rush to get the everything harvested. Overall, a very good growing season that resulted in excellent, bright, fresh and approachable wines.

CELLARING

The 2018 Überblend is built for the ages. The overall concentration, generous tannins from the Petite Sirah, and fresh acidity of the Carignane make this a wine that will reward cellaring almost indefinitely.