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.
The 2017 growing season started out wet with record-breaking rainfall after several dry years. A mild spring led to a timely bud break and good fruit set, followed by ideal conditions of cool mornings and warm, sunny days throughout the summer months. A few days of intense heat at the beginning of September sped up ripening throughout the region. Well-timed picks meant the majority of the fruit was in by the first week of October. Beautiful color, well-defined aromatics, and outstanding flavor are all evident in this year’s vintage.
A combination of deeply flavored red varietals provides the backbone of this old-world style Port. The 2017 blend includes Mixed Blacks from a historic Sonoma Valley old-vine vineyard along with Merlot, Syrah, 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 18 months before bottling.