2018 Lancaster Winemaker's Cuvée, Alexander Valley
93 Points - Wine Advocate
Our 2018 Winemaker’s Cuvée is a testament to an exceptional vintage for Bordeaux grapes and our incredible vineyards in the Alexander Valley. A strong base of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot is complemented by small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. This wine delivers the epitome of complexity and depth. The combination of warm climate and alluvial and gravelly loam soil found on our estate is ideal for creating balanced wines of concentration and richness. Dark purple in the glass, this wine opens with aromas of indulgent, dark berry fruit with savory undertones and notes of toasted oak. The palate is full bodied with multi-layered flavors of black cherry, currant, tobacco and graphite. A wine of impeccable structure and balance that allows aging for 5-10 years.
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot
October 9 - October 12, 2018
October 12, 2020
Made in the signature Lancaster style, this is a wine of incredible balance and structure that is made in the old-world Bordeaux style with a velvety mouth-feel and lush fruit. David Drake, our winemaker of over 20 years, has a hands-off approach to let the fruit and terroir of these exceptional vineyards shine. Native yeasts were used for primary fermentation while secondary malolactic fermentation occurred naturally in barrel. To preserve the truest expression of the fruit, the wine was gently fined and bottled. This wine was aged sur lie for 15 months in French oak. 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.
The Alexander Valley experienced another ideal growing season in 2018. The long season provided moderate temperatures for the grapes to ripen at the ideal speed. The result is an incredible vintage marked by clean, outstanding fruit characteristics with balanced, bright acidity and sugar levels. We harvested the fruit at optimal ripeness from October 9 - 12, 2018.