Ruby-style Ports are noted for their rich complex fruit flavors, deep color, and a touch of sweetness that makes them the perfect after-dinner drink or dessert accompaniment. This Port fits the bill with bountiful aromas and flavors of fig, plum, brandied-cherry compote, toasted hazelnuts, and vanilla caramels. Sip along with cheeses, nuts, and chocolates for a decadent, luxurious treat.
Harvest in 2016 started in the middle of August during a pattern of warm sunny days cooled by foggy mornings and breezy afternoons for most of the area. The early months of the year were very mild with little rain allowing the vines to progress steadily and uneventfully. Yields throughout the region were slightly below average but moderate weather starting in early summer gave the fruit plenty of time to develop great color and flavor, resulting in beautifully balanced wines.
A combination of deeply flavored red varietals provides the backbone of this old-world-styled Port. The 2016 blend includes Mixed Blacks from a historic Sonoma Valley old-vine vineyard along with Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon from our Certified Sustainable Wild Oak Vineyard at the foot of Hood Mountain and the Mayacamas range.
We push the hang-time on grapes destined for our Port and harvest the grapes at 27-28 Brix to assure full-flavor and sweetness. After picking, all of the varietals are placed in one tank in our Artisan winery. We inoculate with yeast immediately and let the fermentation begin. During this time our crew stays on-call 24 hours a day, checking the sugar level every hour until it hits the designated target. When it reaches the right level, we add 120 proof Brandy to halt fermentation. The Port is then immediately put into neutral French oak barrels for aging 20 months before bottling.
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