2013 Red Wine
Sonoma County (Bennett Valley)
Skyhook is the manifestation of a love for Rhone varietals and how they blend together to create fascinating wines. In this case, Syrah, with its savory, dark fruit character and moderate tannin, and Grenache with broad, resonant fruit and warm spice, combine to evoke elements of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Our grapes are sourced from three temperate vineyard sites in Sonoma County, each lending their own unique layers within the flavor profile.
Vivio Vineyard: Bennett Valley ~ Syrah, 51%,
Jemrose Vineyard: Bennett Valley ~ Grenache, 42%
Thieriot Vineyard: Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast ~ Syrah, 7%
Bennett Valley, sits on high ground toward the Southeastern corner of Sonoma County. Along the valley floor, rolling bucolic hills mottled with oak woodlands and pastureland, form a mosaic pattern among the manicured vineyards. Here at the Vivio and Jemrose Vineyards, warm, sun-filled days conclude with a light fog, allowing for extended and uniform ripening; ideal conditions for the cultivation of Syrah and Grenache. This same maritime climate is reflected in the Petaluma Gap AVA immediately to the West, where we farm the Thieriot Vineyard.
Sonoma County's 2013 vintage was blessed with an especially long and dry growing season. Moderate to warm temperatures, balanced ripening and above-average yields were the norm in all three vineyards. The two Syrah sites, Vivio and Thieriot, were harvested on October 11 and co-fermented for thirteen days, then transferred to neutral French oak barrels. The Jemrose Grenache, picked ten days later, was fermented and aged as a separate lot until final blending. The resulting wine has brawny aromas of dark fruit and leather giving way to savory spice and cured meat. The palate is fruit-driven, structured, and earthy. Restrained tannin and fresh acidity enfold a lengthy finish. Pair with grilled meats or tomato-based pastas.
Santa Lucia Highlands
In general, White Rhone varietals can be temperamental in their expression. Too often laden with density and oily viscosity, and the oft produced combination of high alcohol with low acidity translates to the New World having more poor examples of this wine, than proud ones. Of the recognized AVAs, the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation in Monterey County is extremely well-suited to growing white Rhones and Viognier in particular. Consistently warm daytime temperatures and a slight cooling breeze help with slow and even ripening in the vineyard. 2014 in Monterey County stayed true to form and blessed us with yet another world class growing season. Long, moderately warm days with cool morning fog and afternoon breezes allowed for extended hang time. We harvested these grapes on September 26. Half of this vintage was fermented in cement tanks; the other half in stainless steel to preserve the fresh fruit character and tropical aromas.
80 Cases Produced - Alc: 14.1%
LAKE COUNTY AVA
The longest-lived wines in the world are know by insiders to be in the class of Sauternes and Barsac. That sweetness and acidity can have such an enduring effect on wine is a phenomenon distinct to late-harvest vinification. While many wines in this style rely on botrytis to affect dehydration of grape clusters and thus concentrate sugars, an extended, dry, and temperate growing season in Lake County meant that these grapes where (for better or worse) devoid of the 'noble rot'. Considering the outcome, we would not have had it any other way.
Aromas of perfumed citrus, dried peach and honeysuckle. The wine was fermented in once-used french oak barrels for approximately 30 days. We co-fermented 10% sémillon for added aromatics and weight. Primary fermentation arrested naturally when the wine found its own balance of residual sugar and alcohol. An unctuous viscosity is juxtaposed by nervy acidity, which will serve to protect the light and bright color and vivacity as it ages into the next decade - or beyond...
31 Cases Produced (375 ml) - Alc: 13.3%
Residual sugar: 133 g/L,