2016 Sebastiani Gravel Bed Red, Sonoma County
93 Points - Robert Parker
Our 2015 Gravel Bed Red is a harmonious expression of the gravely vineyard sites from a warmer vintage. Deep ruby with purple hues, this wine is dominated with peppery spice, currant, cherry, and coconut on the nose. The entry is smooth and loaded with blackberry, underbrush, raspberry and black tea flavors. The nice structure is framed by elegant tannins leading to the lingering finish.
79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 3% Malbec
September 14th to October 26th at optimum ripeness
10 months in French, Hungarian and American oak barrels
Wine & Spirits
2015 was a fantastic vintage producing high quality fruit. It began with an earlier than average bud break and an intense, compacted harvest beginning earlier than average as well. The high temperatures in August and early September accelerated maturity and picking times. Overall, this was an early and light harvest with smaller berries and concentrated flavors that produced exceptional quality fruit. The grapes were harvested under clear night skies from September 14th to October 26th at optimum ripeness. We cold soaked many of the lots to increase color and flavor extraction. All of the grapes were fermented warm and only a small portion of press wine was included for aromatics and structure. After fermentation, all of the individual lots were racked off the lees and put into a combination of French and Hungarian oak barrels for 10 months. A small portion was put into American oak for a lesser extent. The wine was bottled in late January of 2017.
Gravelly soils are responsible for some of the world’s greatest wines. With their superior draining properties and lack of nutrients, they encourage better balanced vines, less sprawl, smaller berries and more intense wines. Gravel Bed Red, as the name suggests, is a proprietary blend showcasing some of the best gravelly sites in Sonoma County. Our 2015 bottling features Cabernet from two superb, rocky/volcanic sites in Sonoma Valley: Cherryblock and Vimark. The Cabernet Sauvignon from the Cherryblock vineyard is a blend of young and old vines. All of the Merlot in the blend came from the Cherryblock vineyard, and a small amount of Malbec from Mission vineyard was added to round out the final blend.