Due to El Nino climatic conditions were prevaldent in 1998, the cool spring resulted in a late harvest with small yields and grapes with concentrated fruit flavors. In order to preserve these sun ripened flavors, the grapes were pressed immediately at the winery, the juice was settled and fed directly into barrels for fermentation. The minimal handling by not crushing nor destemming the grapes maximizes flavors and minimizes bitter tannins from the skin and seed contact. The juice slowly fermented over the next five weeks predominantly in un-inoculated yeasts, thus adding complexity. We used mostly new American and European oak to compliment, but not overwhelm the fruit flavors of the wine. Malolactic fermentation added further layers of flavor and richness. The wine completed seven months of sur lie aging with periodic stirring, adding a creamy mouthfeel. The wine remained in the original barrels without racking until blending. The wine was minimally fined, but not filtered prior to bottling, this is to preserve the wines full flavors and texture.