Ruby-style Ports are noted for their rich, complex fruit flavors, deep color, and 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 with cheeses, nuts, and chocolates for a luxurious, decadent treat.
We began our 2019 harvest before dawn on August 30. After a growing season that started in winter with record rainfall, the year ended with warm, even temperatures throughout summer. With few spikes in heat over the period, our vineyards had optimal conditions. Spring rains ended in time for good fruit set. The temperate summer allowed for long hang times and consistent, even ripening. We picked the majority of our fruit in September, and the weather continued to cooperate. Warm breezy days, but fortunately, no rain took place in October, and the last of the grapes were harvested before the end of the month.
A combination of intensely flavored red varietals provides the backbone of this old-world style Port. The 2019 blend includes four varietals from Sonoma County vineyards. It is composed of 39% Zinfandel, 23% Syrah, 19% Merlot, and 19% Cabernet Sauvignon.
We push the hang-time on grapes destined for our Port and harvest the grapes at 27-28 brix to ensure 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 for 20 months before bottling.