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 decadent, luxurious treat.
2018 provided an ideal climate allowing time for the grapes to ripen to their optimum flavor structure. The year presented a fairly mild growing season with few heat spikes, inspiring winemakers to push harvest back a few weeks. This longer time on the vine was great for grapes and the mild temperatures kept the fruit from over-ripening. More than an inch of rain fell in early October in many locations, but there was little impact on the quality of the fruit. 2018 could be remembered as one of the longest and most desirable seasons in years, producing exceptional quality grapes throughout Sonoma County.
A combination of intensely flavored red varietals provides the backbone of this old-world style Port. The 2018 blend includes four varietals from Sonoma County vineyards. It is composed of 27% Zinfandel, 25% Syrah, 22% Merlot, and 26% Cabernet Sauvignon.
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.
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