Snowden embraced -- rather than resisted -- the challenging 2008 growing year, refusing to engineer muscle or force extraction, instead letting the 2008 Reserve develop naturally as a charming, nuanced, elegant, and pure expression of our site. A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot, the Wine Advocate noted "this beauty should drink well for 15+ years."
The 2008 Reserve is an elegant wine showing the blueberries and violets Diana considers the hallmark of our site, along with smooth, bright fruit. In the glass the wine opens softly and reveals near-perfect balance, spice, the slightest smoke, smooth tannins, subtle mellow oak, and both red and blue flowers. Diana summed it up like this: "as someone who also makes and loves burgundy, I like a wine that invites you to discover it."
The 2008 growing season got off to a problematic start -- winter saw below-normal rainfall. Sensing stress, the vines pushed early, the spring was frosty, and May saw a memorable heat spike. High shatter, irregular set, and light clusters resulted in a smaller crop that required significant culling. Yields were down by almost half from 2007. The growing season was cool but not dangerously so -- we harvested the Merlot on September 15 and the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot between October 1 and October 13. With the exception of the small quantity, we were extremely pleased with the quality of the fruit and the resulting wines.