The thirteen series is our proprietary southern Rhône style blend using up to thirteen of the varietals traditional to Châteauneuf-du-Pape and here we have blended four: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise. We are big fans of co-fermentations when mother nature provides the opportunity so the blend includes 4 (of 14) barrels where several varietals started their union at crush. Like all of our red wines, we only use the machine for whatever level of de-stemming is desired (the syrah components include varying levels of whole cluster and whole berry). Any crushing is achieved via pigeage à pied (foot stomping). We do not make wine in plastic. All of our reds are fermented in open top wood vats where wild yeasts are employed without nutrients or other enhancers. We punch down by hand up to 3x daily. The macerations ranged from 18 days for the Grenache to 25 days for the Syrahs (Mourvédre in the middle at 23 days). The Grenache and Mourvèdre was aged exclusively in older French Oak barrels. The Syrah components ranged from 1-3 year old French Oak barrels. The Counoise was co-fermented with Grenache and Mourvèdre and aged in a neutral 500L Hungarian puncheon. All malolactic fermentations were natural and completed by early summer. The final blend was assembled in early October and the wine was bottled without fining or filtration on November 18, 2008.
Aromas of crushed fresh berries, clove, forest floor, leather, cola and candied orange peel entice the olfactory. After a few moments, notes of tobacco, game and all spice come to the fore. On the palate this youthful blend offers structure and verve with soft tannins and bright acidity that leave the palate refreshed and ready for more.