Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 3%Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec
The Marinus Vineyard in upper Carmel Valley is planted with a blend of traditional Bordeaux varieties in separate blocks. These areas were identified as having distinct terroirs. Different planting and growing strategies are used with each block to develop components for blending in the final wine.
The 2002 growing season was warm and sunny, but without any of our notorious and dreaded autumn heat-spikes, so the vintners were able to choose their picking days based on perfect ripeness levels. This provided an excellent balance of both ripe and bright fruit flavors. As always, the Marinus Vineyard was harvested block-by-block, varietal by varietal, according to ripening patterns over a four-week period. This growing season enabled the grapes to fully ripen with round tannins and moderate alcohol levels.
The winery uses the traditional Bordelais method of destemming prior to fermentation and pumping over the tanks two to three times a day. Macerations last from ten to thirty days depending on the character of the grapes. After completing malolactic fermentation the new wine is transferred into small French oak barrels for sixteen months of aging. One half of the barrels are new oak to add dimensions of flavor and texture while respecting the character of the fruit. Complexity and balance of the wine is enhanced by the multiple lots from the different vineyard blocks. The last months before bottling the final blend is held in large oak upright tanks to encourage the integration of flavors.