HAPPY CANYON OF SANTA BARBARA
ESTATE GROWN, HAPPY CANYON VINEYARD
80% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, and 5% Malbec
Alcohol 13.5%, pH 3.60 and TA 6.6 g/L
2015 was another year of extreme drought conditions. Bud break was in late March, early April. A much cooler then average May, along with highly windy conditions, resulted in low fruit with ultimate yields down 50% from average in our vineyards. Warm to hot summer conditions, and much less fruit on the vines created a harvest that was the earliest on record, beginning mid-August. The lower yields, hot weather, and early harvest resulted in tiny clusters of intensely colored, highly concentrated, flavorful grapes of incredible depth. The wine was fermented in small lots using hand-crafted winemaking techniques and matured for 22 months in a combination of new and seasoned, two year old, and neutral Taransaud French Oak Barrels. The wine was racked three times in barrel and bottled in July of 2017.
The finished wine has dark, crimson color with mahogany hues and a hint of black. The aromas exhibit a lovely balance of dark cherries, ripe plums, along with hints of lavender and spice wrapped in a cloak of vanilla. The palate is full bodied, rich and intense that is filled with fruit and oak wood, balanced perfectly with lush tannins and bold acidity. The wine is complex and made even more luxurious with the four other grapes; Cabernet Sauvignon adding tannin and strength, the Cabernet Franc adding a spicy lift, the Malbec adding an earthy full rich flavor and the Petit Verdot, with its intense color and powerful tannins seamlessly intertwining them all. Beautiful to drink today and will mature and age wonderfully for the next 10 to 15 years.