Please give this wine some time to breathe as it has been made quite reductively. The smells of reduction will give way after a few minutes to reveal a beautifully complicated nose of orange peel, black cherry, and thyme. The mouth is balanced with strong leanings to the stem tannin. We are in love with this wine, but again it needs time to breathe and age if possible. Grab your favorite triple cream, porch chair and pour a glass. Heaven.
We did not harvest Sparrow until quite late. The vines were ready almost a month after last year which let us slowly ripen as opposed to picking mid-September. It is interesting to see the difference as the wines which get more hang time seem to have more volume and nose which one would assume the opposite. We all need to get together and taste to see what we think!
Well. Well. Well. Malbec. It is that Labrador retriever who lives in your neighborhood and barks all the time only to discover he just loves everyone *that* much. Fairly difficult to farm, hard to watch ferment because of its awkward H2S spikes while the yeast knows full well, they are sitting on a massive pile of yeast assumable nitrogen. Then it finds the bottle and like a giant lap dog, sits on the palate so comfortably. The 2016 Malbec Amparo is 100% Malbec that spent 23 months in 40% new French. Blueberries and violets dance with a slight cranberry note and pillow oak tannins.
The 2016 Artist Series Paterson Blend is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Cabernet Franc, and 20% Merlot coming from the Columbia Valley and aged two years in 40% new oak. It offers more cherry and dark strawberry fruits, medium to full body, a juicy, lively texture, and a great finish. It shows the pretty, juicy, forward style of the vintage beautifully and will keep for 15+ years.
- Jeb Dunnuck
Made from 49% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 9% Petit Verdot, the 2016 Night Owl Estate Blend reveals a deep ruby/plum color as well as rocking notes of black cherries, spiced blackberries, dried herbs, and chocolate. It's ripe, fleshy, medium to full-bodied, and beautifully balanced, with a great finish. It’s another beautiful wine from Anna Schafer.
- Jeb Dunnuck
We are smelling bacon in this wine for the first time. It is an interesting aroma that is unfamiliar but welcome nonetheless. It is a deep blue-based red with a purple hue wine opens with the aromas of stem tannin, currents, bacon, blackberries, and lavender oil. The medium acidity is a more gentle background for the secondary notes of the fruit. The Sunday morning bacon nose has hints of tobacco and cedar. Flavors of brambly fruits, current and lavender oil persist in the mouth. The stem tannin (65% whole cluster) leaves a lovely texture on the extremely long finish.
Give lots of air to this wine upon opening, after a minute the wine reveals a strong black currant aroma and a hint of sage. The stem tannin is holding the fruit up well as we put almost 75% whole cluster in the ferment. There is massive mouth tannin and lovely acidity to cut through the fruit. This wine is all about structure and strength. The fermentation tank always smells of fresh-cut pumpkins and here we are tasting it in the finish. The finish is long and the tannin persists until the end. Will drink well for years to come.
The flagship is the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Owl and Crown Estate, which has brilliant notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil, exotic flowers, and blood orange. Deep, concentrated, medium to full-bodied, and balanced, it's a beautiful, layered, lengthy Cabernet that will keep for 20+ years.
- Jeb Dunnuck
Not yet rated
Stephen Tanzer “Full medium ruby. Very dark aromas of blackberry, cassis, licorice, and violet. Densely packed and fine-grained, conveying a sexy subtle sweetness to its seriously intense flavors of currant and dark chocolate. This is more pliant and rich in the same state than the 2014 bottling and longer on the aftertaste, finishing with plush, integrated tannins, sneaky length and no impression of heaviness. The best Malbec to date from Anna Schafer, who worked for Paul Hobbs in Argentina in 2006 and 2007 before returning to her family’s estate which had been established in 2004. I’d like to have tasted this alongside the better Argentine Malbecs I sampled earlier this year.”
Offering an exotic, complex bouquet of lavender, wild herbs, loamy earth and both red and black fruits, the 2013 Red Wine Blend Night Owl (55% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot) is medium-bodied, elegant, supple and finesse driven on the palate, with this darker, meaty, chocolaty, earthy core that comes out with additional time in glass. This is a sexy, forward effort that will nevertheless keep nicely for a decade given its purity and balance. Drink: 2016 – 2026.
- Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate, March 2016.
The 2014 Red Wine Blend Night Owl comes from the estate vineyards and is a blend of 43% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc and the balance Petit Verdot. Its deep purple/ruby-tinged color is followed by a terrific bouquet of cassis, ripe black cherries, licorice and wild herbs. Medium to full-bodied, supple and polished on the palate, with good acidity, it's another fabulous wine.
Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate, August 2017
This wine has come from the earth in all senses. It is as complex as photosynthesis itself. Don’t be fooled by its delicate color; it will swoon you with earth, fire and sea. There is a bright quality to the wine, but the dark flavors persist of burnt orange, dark fruit, rhubarb. There is a strong mineraility in the finish. Pair with meat braised in fennel and orange or a triple cream garnished with chutney.