The red, iron-rich soils of the Pritchard Hill (Vaca) range yield wines that are densely colored and rich. Stagecoach vineyard is so far in to the mountains, and so vast, that nobody really knows what kind of soils they are, but they erode in to the Hambright of the world-class vineyards directly below. The fruit for Her Majesty comes from ten south-facing rows that slope gently and then rise again like the perfect chaise longue at about 1400 feet. The relative coolness of the 2016 vintage, combined with the ample sunshine above the fog, beautifully expressed the natural weight of the wine.
Hand made, all natural yeasts. Temperature brought up during the fermentations to increase extraction while dissipating the alcohol. Aged in a combination of Sylvain, Taransaud and Bossuet barrels.
Up front attack of blackberries, toffee, plums and cherries, great depth and complexity here. Tight grain tannins hide a great quantity of tannin in velvet layers of softness. The persistence here is astounding. The finish is endless, a theatre piece that unveils itself in three acts from blackberries and cherries to black licorice, finally fading to sweet plum that is reluctant to leave the palate.
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