Markham Vineyards The Altruist
WINEMAKER NOTES: Floral violet and rich caramel toast aromas give this heady wine a decidedly feminine air, additionally showing the beauty of the terroir where it is grown with layers of cassis, anise and blackberry jam flavors. The lush tannins are the result of the extended maceration, allowing the gritty texture to soften gracefully over a period of several weeks following primary fermentation. Texturally balanced, there is a brightness to the juicy fruit that is well-integrated with vanilla, caramel and toast oak highlights. Tempting to drink now, but will continue to evolve with a more floral focus. Would pair magnificently with grilled lamb and herb-roasted potatoes.
VINEYARD NOTES: Our Calistoga Estate vineyard is positioned at the base of Mt. St. Helena set in a canyon surrounded by wild Bay Laurel trees. The rocky soils provide near perfect growing conditions for our Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The canyon itself is home to frequent thermal inversions as the cool evening fog spills over the western hill, displacing the autumn heat on the ground. This allows for extended harvest hang-time which we use in conjunction with careful canopy management to maximizes filtered light within the vines, allowing the fruit to ripen evenly. The wines are sent to French oak barrels individually to mature, providing greater understanding of the direct impact of our viticultural practices each vintage. Seven Cabernet clonal selections add dimensional layers while the use of extended skin contact enhances the velvety texture in this structural wine.
HARVEST NOTES: Floods rang in the new year in 2006 and rain continued into spring. The cold weather delayed bloom and fruit development. Ultimately this save us during the ten record setting days of consecutive 100°F temperatures in July. The vines produced a balanced crop, although the small berry size made for intense concentration. A late start to the harvest was due to a relatively cool summer with cold nights contributing to longer hang time in the fie