2014 Lancaster Nicole's Proprietary Red, Alexander Valley
92 Points - Wine Spectator
The 2014 Nicole’s Proprietary Red is a blend created from the best barrels of our estate’s finest vineyard blocks. The final composition consists of four of the Bordeaux varietals grown here: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Its intense, dark, inky-purple hue stands out in the glass as it opens. Its endless layers of generous ripe blackberry, dark cherry, lavender and spices lead into the core of dark, ripe fruit flavors on the palate. Balanced by its acidity, polished tannins, and exotic oak the wine shows an underlying minerality in its lingering finish. Nicole’s should be decanted when young, and should age for 20+ years.
81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc
September 11 - October 13, 2014
Consistent with Lancaster Estate’s commitment to making wines of authenticity and place, all of our wines are estate grown, produced and bottled. Native yeasts are used for primary fermentation while secondary malolactic fermentation occurs naturally in barrel. To preserve the truest expression of our estate, the Lancaster Estate 2014 Nicole’s Proprietary Red was gently fined and then bottled unfiltered. The 2014 was aged 26 months in 100% French oak. We chose barrels from several coopers including Darnajou, Taransaud, Demptos, Saury, and Bel Air. 100% of the barrels were new, and coopered using a combination of Medium Plus, Medium Long, and Heavy toast levels to provide better integration and balance.
2014 proved to be a challenging yet abundant vintage in the Alexander Valley. Midsummer sugars were initially ahead of flavor development, but cool weather in September stalled ripening. This resulted in an even ripening, where the grapes reached full flavor potential through optimal maturity. The grapes were harvested from September 11 - October 13, 2014 with higher yields for the third consecutive year.