2015 Robert Willis Reserve Malbec

Aromas of concentrated black fruits are balanced with notes of wet stone and violets. Notes of coffee and cocoa powder add layers of complexity to the intense fruit. On the palate, the wine is supple and sleek, however, there is enough firm structure to hold up the robust fruit. The result is a wine that is powerful yet elegant.

The grapes for this wine are grown at our acclaimed Spice Cabinet Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills. Spice Cabinet Vineyard sits on a southeast slope above the Columbia River. The orientation of the block allows for morning sun exposure of the fruit, while avoiding the intense afternoon rays.

2015 was the hottest year on record and began with a moderate winter that lead into a warm spring and very hot summer. The warm spring resulted in an early bloom, which resulted in veraison 2-3 weeks earlier than normal, and began harvest 2 weeks ahead of schedule. The heatwave finally tapered off at the end of August, giving us warm days and cool nights which created the perfect conditions for great fruit flavor development. The cool nights maintained the bright natural acidity in the grapes, resulting in balanced wines with concentrated fruit.

These grapes were double sorted, first in the vineyards with the selective harvest on our Pellenc harvesters, then again at the winery on our sorting table. The fruit was not crushed in order to preserve as much whole-berry as possible. We fermented the wine in our oak, upright tank with twice daily punch downs. After fermentation, the wine was racked to a blend of new and old French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged in barrel for 18 months before being blended together.

 

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