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Stylistically, this wine is a Late Bottled Vintage Port. The color in the glass is a very dark ruby red, on the nose there are notes of blackberry, licorice, and hazelnut. The palate still tastes very fresh with bright flavors of olallieberry pie, maraschino cherry, and vanilla bean. On the finish the wine hints a marzipan and lingers a very long time with a warming glow.
Machado Creek Vineyard lies on the eastern edge of the Santa Cruz Mountains near Gilroy. The soil is red clay loam that has been fed over time by the creek that runs through the middle of the vineyard. The vineyard is planted with Petite Sirah, Syrah, Grenache, Mouverdre, and Sangiovese. The Petite Sirah is grown on exclusively head-trained vines.
About the vinification: Petite Sirah that was harvested much riper than I would normally prefer was fermented and then fortified by combining brandy to the fermenting must. I added the brandy to the fermenting must when the fermentation reached roughly 5% sugar remaining, by bringing the alcohol up to roughly 20% I arrested the fermentation and the 5% residual sugar stayed in the wine. From there, the must was left to macerate for a few more days with the rich brandy before it was pressed directly into barrels where it sat unaltered for 5 years. Notable, is that the Chardonnay was distilled from wine that I had made by a good friend of mine. The Chardonnay spirit was aged in French oak for a long time to extract color, vanilla, spice etc. The brandy was very dark and very rich.