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2003 Alexander Valley Tempranillo

  Our Tempranillo is grown on our Oak Mountain vineyard in Alexander Valley. The 800 foot elevation mountainside vineyard slopes gently towards the southwest giving this heat and sun-loving varietal perfect exposure. The rocky soil ensures great drainage and a naturally balanced vine.

The grapes were picked and fermented in three separate lots. Gently hand harvested, the grapes were destemmed but not crushed. Two lots were inoculated with pure strain wine yeasts, while the third was left to ferment with indigenous yeast. The wines were gently punched down several times per day and drained off shortly after the completion of primary fermentation. The secondary malolactic fermentation occurred in barrel. A mixture of French and American oak was used during the 20 months of aging.

Tasting Notes
This is a bold wine with plenty of blueberry & blackberry fruit as well as exuberant white pepper. There is a concentration on the extracted fruit and a slight tension within the youthful tannins that should allow this wine to improve for years. All this fruit and spice is backed with vanilla, leather, and smoke.

Alcohol content, 14.4% by volume
3,000 cases produced

Connoisseursí Guide to California Wine

"Cut from similar cloth as its rather more dramatic sibling the Reserve Pinot Noir Carneros, this well-filled youngster is also emphatic in its ripeness, but it shows a bit more concern for balance and finds firming acidity a somewhat more evident player. Its initial palatal plushness will no doubt tempt some to early drinking, but a few years of age will better integrate its pieces and make for an altogether more polished presentation." One star.

Santé Magazine

"Light, bright black cherry aromas with a note of cedar. Silky smooth entry with ripe cherry fruit through to the finish." Recommended.

Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences

"Exceptional. Very complex wine despite almost pale color. Fresh cranberry and beet aroma, with hints of roses, and succulent fruit in the mouth that makes this wine one of pure elegance. Startlingly flavored for the lighter color."

California Grapevine

"Light brickish ruby; attractive, floral, delicate, smoky, cedary, cherry fruit aroma; medium to medium-full body; pleasant, elegant, earthy, smoky, light cherry fruit flavors; medium tannin; slightly lingering aftertaste. Shows good varietal character and is ready to drink now." Recommended.

Wine Enthusiast

"Deep berry aromas, with earthy and oriental spice notes. Good mouthfeel. Finishes with mild tannins and nice cherry, herb and earth nuances. Elegant."

Sacramento Bee

"The youthful and pretty Artesa Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (is) lively with the direct raspberry-blackberry fruitiness typical of the area."

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