The 2017 growing season began with abundant rainfall, ending California’s long drought. Spring weather was cool, delaying bud-break slightly and avoiding any damage from frost. Warmer weather in mid-May insured even blooming and an average-sized fruit set. Vines were vigorous thanks to the winter rains. Meticulous canopy management and fruit thinning brought the crop into optimal balance. Warmer than normal conditions after veraison accelerated ripening and required judicious irrigation to mitigate dehydration of the fruit and stress on the vines. As harvest approached, the return of cooler conditions allowed the fruit to gradually reach perfect ripeness.
Grown on the slopes of Mount St. Helena in Knights Valley, the distinctive aromas and flavors of our proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot clearly display their hillside origins. Rocky, rhyolitic soils created through volcanic activity millennia ago, contribute a mineral richness, and add to the wine’s complexity. Spanning 49 acres, Les Pavots ascends to an elevation of nearly 1,400 feet. Merlot and Cabernet Franc grow on the cool upper slopes and Cabernet Sauvignon grows just below.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes
Deep ruby color with a red-purple rim, 2017 Les Pavots reveals abundant aromas of ripe black fruit and jammy black currant. The bouquet expresses nuances of vanilla bean, ‘garrigue’, and leather. Full-bodied and elegant on the palate, the wine offers generous, ripe, dried, red, and black fruit flavors. The mouthfeel is dense and round, with supple tannins and subtle mineral notes, loaded with blackberry, raspberry liqueur, fur, and black pepper notes leading to a long finish. Approachable now, the wine provides a classic presentation of our estate’s terroir and will continue to age gracefully for two decades.
- Appellation: Knights Valley, Sonoma County
- Harvested: October 2 – 26, 2017
- Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot
- Aged 18 months in 100% French oak barrels from select artisan coopers
- Bottled unfined and unfiltered May 17, 2019
- Alcohol: 15.1%