A Vintage for Co- Fermenting!

As of today, September 18, 2013, roughly 80% of our fruit is in. Just a little more Cab, and the Petit Verdot and Mourvedre remain on the vine. In many years, we are just getting started with harvest in mid September! With over 30 days of temperatures hovering around or over 100 Degrees so far this year, the vintage is reminiscent of 2004 and, in terms of degree day heat summation, of last year as well. 2004 was a benchmark vintage for Stephan, producing his first 98 point wine, Estate Cuvee 2004, as well as his luscious Coincidence. These wines were made by co- fermenting the Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Syrah components together, at difference to their being fermented in separate barrels and then blended together later, which is the norm for us here at L’Aventure. This year, the July/ August/ September heat wave has again brought the vintage to a head earlier than normal, and we find these varieties again coming in one on top of the other. Logistically and artistically, this points to a number of lots of co -fermented wines being produced from this 2013 vintage.

Among these wines is Cuvee Chloe, an eponymous homage to Stephan’s daughter, ¬†first produced from the 2010 vintage. For this wine, Stephan culls his best Syrah, typically from the McVey block at the north -western limit of the ranch, and co ferments it with his best Grenache of the vintage. This co -fermentation results in wines of seamless integration. Cuvee Chloe always offers a unique parfum of floral notes, ¬†the haunting essence of garrigue. The attack is always soft, the palate rich and long, textured like silk.