Aromas of blackberry, red currant, exotic barrel spice, and crushed rock. Intense red fruit on entry with coated tannins, a full body, firm acid, and toasted oak. Complex with layered flavors and a long finish.
For a second consecutive year, an unusually cool growing season pushed the last of harvest into November. Thinning reduced yields, but assured ripeness and depth of flavor; cold nights slowed sugar development while maintaining acidity. Natural yeast fermentations were complete within eight days. Half the press wine was initially held out, but included this spring for additional complexity. Twenty-one months' aging in air-dried american oak barrels has provided natural clarity and supple tannins. The excellent 2011 Estate balances Monte Bello's cool-climate fruit, mineral elements, and firm acidity. Sensuous and beautifully defined, it will develop further over the next fourteen years.