2015 Lancaster Estate Sophia's Hillside Cuvée, Alexander Valley
95 Points - Wine Advocate
Our 2015 Sophia’s Hillside Cuvée is composed of our young hillside blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and our oldest block of Malbec. The fruit from these estate vineyard blocks meld together to create a perfectly balanced, intense wine. It has the fruit-forward youthfulness and freshness of the young Cabernet Sauvignon that is softened and balanced by the lush old vine Malbec and young Merlot. An inviting nose of black cherry, blueberry and plum draws you in. The palate displays bright fruit flavors with hints of chocolate and subtle savory undertones. Velvety tannins linger on the finish and add promise to a long cellar life.
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 1% Malbec
September 11 - October 9, 2015
18 months in 100% French oak; Taransaud, Demptos, Saury, and Bel Air; 30% new
April 24, 2017
This wine was aged sur lie for 18 months in 100% French oak from the Nevers and Allier forests in central France. We chose barrels from several coopers including Taransaud, Demptos, Saury, and Bel Air. 30% of the barrels were new and all were coopered using a combination of Medium Plus, Medium Long, and Heavy toast levels to provide better integration and balance.
It was a warmer than average year in the Alexander Valley for the 2015 vintage. August was fairly moderate, with a bit of a spike in temperature by early September. We harvested all of the fruit from September 11 - October 9 at peak ripeness. Yields were down a little, but the fruit was high quality and concentrated. Overall, the fruit came in nicely delivering wines of complexity and elegance.