This is a ridiculously fun, fascinating and delicious red wine! There are people in the world making red wines with a ripasso method and there are people in the world using a solera system of blending for some red wines but we know of no one, other than us, who have put both together to create a distinctive and tasty red wine. It all began with four barriques of 2004 Merlot that was taken out of barrel and re-passed over the fresh 2006 Merlot and Dornfelder fruit. The wine underwent another primary fermentation and was racked to barriques, hogsheads and puncheons where it underwent another malo-lactic fermentation. Half of the wine was taken and bottled after ten months in oak, and this was Variation One. The other half remained in barrel until the next harvest where it was re-passed over the 2007 Merlot, Syrah and Dornfelder fruit. It was all repeated and we bottled half as Variation Two. We did this again in the 2008 harvest and bottled Variation Three. This happened to Over and Over again in 2009 for Variation Four and again in the beautiful, warm, dry 2010 vintage for Variation Five. Took a year off and the wine spent the time in barrel during the 2011 vintage, then we re-passed the lot again over the 2012 vintage for Variation Six and again in 2013 for Variation Seven and again in 2014 for Variation Eight and yet again in 2015 for this Variation Nine!!! This wine has undergone ten primary and ten malo-lactic fermentations and has in it memories of the 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 harvests. We WILL continue to do this over & over.
Variation Nine is a bit brighter with deeper, darker fruit than past examples and there is a purity of red and black fruit expression coupled with an integrated oak component this year that is remarkably sexy and alluring. Violets, black raspberries, black pepper, black cherries, red plums, prunes and brown baking spices are the primary descriptors that come to mind in this well-balanced, dry, medium-bodied and seamless red wine. This is the most pure and polished variation of this wine yet. Delicious, long complex flavors and textures fill one's mouth and mind. The finish is persistent and shows great complexity and intermingling of both the mature secondary characteristics and its youthful attributes. This is a wine that reflects the old and the new, the North and the South, the warm and the cool and provides us with something entirely different to experience and think about. Drink this musical wine with all manner of game birds, fatty fish, pork, veal, lamb, grains, mushrooms and root vegetables. 168 cases produced. 6 bottle limit per customer.