With the final countdown to release day underway (t-minus six days and counting!) the 2013 Single Barrel needs to be introduced.
I have hinted at this for the last year and a half or so. With the 2013 being MTGA’s fourth vintage I really wanted to see what would happen if I pulled the best lot(s) that came into the winery to create a single barrel of awesomeness. I have no shame in stealing a page out of whiskey’s book to create 25 cases or less of one wine. I also think that the word “reserve” is one of the most over used and ambiguous wine terms in the US of A. Plus whiskey is yummy! Not that that has anything to do with anything but it is the truth.
To make this Single Barrel happen there were a few requirements:
- The grapes had to be good enough. Without a solid starting point there is no way to have a killer final product.
- While it is one barrel it needs more attention than you think. If the components you want to use for that final blend don’t come together for those 25 cases you are up a creek without a boat (much less a paddle).
- Contain integrated complexity. Sure you can have all kinds of awesome individual characteristics but if they don’t come together to make each other better, the wine ends up being disjointed and incomplete. Every winemaker looks for balance but it becomes more and more important as you move up the scale from good to great and so on.
- The wine can’t be a crazy departure from the rest of the program. This one is more of a personal opinion but if the MTGA Single Barrel doesn’t fit in stylistically with the other wines in the lineup it doesn’t belong. It needs to stand out but not stand on its own.
- It has to be a combination of the “yum” factor combined the really geeky wine stuff (all of which tie back into the complexity of the wine). The fact is that it as to be good if not great while painting the corners of drinkability and geeking out.
From that last point now is a good time to get into that geeky wines stuff! The 2013 Single Barrel is Merlot but a combination of different lots to create one awesome barrel that is the best wine that can be made from that vintage. In this case the Merlot is all St. Helena fruit that was aged for nearly 2 years in barrel and another in bottle before release. The biggest reason for this was letting the intensity of the wine settle down just a little bit. With nearly 100% of its time spent in new French oak the 2013 Single Barrel has that rounded toasty goodness that you expect from a big Napa red wine. The small percentage of wine from other lots were blended in to make those delightful fruit characteristics of the Merlot”pop” a bit more.
I couldn’t be more excited to have the Single Barrel finally entering the fray. It has been a long couple of years to get it right where it needs to be but now it is time to let it out into the world!
Remember, if you aren’t on the mailing list there is no time like the present to hop on so you don’t miss out on the release announcement next week! You can click here to throw your name into the hat.