2018 SVL Souzao-Tinta Cao - Hedges Family Estate
Tasting Notes: An explosion of mixed berries with quite a bit of raspberry and blackberry is followed up by savory herbs, spice, vanilla and a touch of earth and turmeric. This is a racy wine with a lot of pleasant up-front acid, a chewy mid-palate and a long impactful finish. It is rare to find Portuguese varieties made into a dry style wine, your taste buds will thank you! Production: Grapes are from Hedges Estate Vineyard, high density block, which is in the Red Mountain AVA and is biodynamically farmed. This wine was cold soaked overnight then inoculated with yeast, fermented for 6 days on skins while being pumped over twice daily before pressing to barrels, where it was inoculated with malo-lactic bacteria. It was 100% barrel aged for 19 months in neutral oak. Cellaring: As with all Red Mountain red wines, it should age well, probably peaking in 15 years, but still a great wine even at 20-30 years old. Harvest notes: The 2017-2018 winter was extremely mild, fairly dry and quite the opposite of the snow and ice ravaged winter we saw the year before. This mild winter really tricked the vines and other early Spring bud pushing plants to sprout out quickly. Hedges’ estate vineyards were pruned early (beginning in late January) in anticipation for this early bud break and the vines really responded well. We added a few more Biodynamic practices into the mix, such as home brewed horsetail tea spray, which helped us escape some mildew pressure in June. The heat of summer and long sunny days advanced ripening, but the maturation period of early September and October was mild which made for a harvest that you could pick fruit at a slow and steady pace. Overall the 2018 vintage is going to be a good one!