The 1999 vintage of S.L.V. is one of the smallest in the last 20 years, for it marks the beginning of the rejuvenation of our original estate vineyard. First planted by the Winiarski family in 1970, by the late 1990's S.L.V. had passed middle age, and vine disease and diminished vigor were beginning to take a toll. Beginning in 1999 we started a multi-year program of replanting partial blocks of the vineyard. It will take several years for the process to be completed and for S.L.V. to return to full strength. Until that time, we are devoting extra man-hours to nurturing and harvesting grapes that meet the standards of the S.L.V label, and declassifying much of the fruit to other Cabernet programs.
The 1999 vintage offers aromas of raspberries and plums, evolving into rosemary, allspice and rosewater before the mouth is seduced by a bounty of cherries, raspberries, and cassis. Yet, the fruit is nestled amid fragrant star anise and cedar, underlining the elegant balance of "fire" and "water." Serve with pork tenderloin, pan-seared and then roasted with apples and fresh garden herbs, or a creamy ragout of wild mushrooms over homemade fettuccini.