A stylish, ballerina of a wine: balanced and elegant, with fine tannins, refreshing natural acidity, beguiling perfume and the unmistakeable profile of the Snowden terroir -- blueberries, violets, and wet stone. The 2008 Reserve is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. Writing in the wine Advocate when the wine was first released, Robert Parker mentioned "aromas of creme de cassis, burning embers, licorice and smoked herbs. It ratchets up the body, concentration and depth yet possesses silky smooth tannis and a forward style. This beauty should drink well for 15+ years."
The 2008 growing year was a good one for the grapes that made it to wine, but a challenging one for the wine grower. The winter was dry, resulting in quick stress on the vines and early opening of the buds. The spring included the worst frost season in decades. Fortunately, our vineyards are protected by gentle slopes – we only lost about five percent to frost damage. The weather in late spring continued erratic, with one memorable heat spike in May reaching 100 degrees. The heat was bracketed by rainstorms and strong winds. This weather hodge-podge resulted in higher than normal levels of “shatter,” or irregular set of the berries in the cluster. The overall impact was a 45 percent reduction in yield compared to 2007. The tumultuous spring gave way to a relatively cool and even summer. The grapes ripened slowly and gently, developing good flavor and soft tannins. We began picking the Merlot on September 15. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot came in during the first two weeks of October.