A vintage like 2009 really reminded us of what grows best at the estate. Given our 5 day picking window all the blocks from the estate came into the winery with similar levels of ripeness and tonnage per acre numbers. Each performed well in fermenter and in barrel receiving approximately the same treatment and amount of care through the winesí elevage. When we finally sat down to blend in February 2011 what separated the wines had more to do with inherent style than overt qualitative differences. Shuttling lots between the first and second wines had more to do with subjective preferences than anything purely objective. Basically we had to ask ourselves what constitutes a first wine if all blending components are equally sound? We recognized this was a nice problem to have but finding the answer required a few additional tastings throughout the month. Eventually the wines were divided across accessibility and fruit profile spectrums. The softer, redder fruited wines are what ultimately came to comprise this edition of Our Gang. We felt people would want to drink the second wine before the flagship bottling so it was blended to drink well young. The profile is classic California Cabernet: red currants, menthol, sweet tobacco and graphite. As good as this wine is, I almost hesitate to call it a second wine. Itís more a different perspective on what this great piece of ground can produce.
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