St. Francis Winery & Vineyards Cuvee Lago Russian River Valley Red Blend 2007 By St. Francis Winery & Vineyards 2007 Red Wine Cuvee Lago Russian River Valley Aging: Eighteen Months Storage: French Oak, 50% new Bottling: August 2009 Alcohol: 15.30% by volume Aging Potential: 5 to 10 years Cases Produced: 450 cases VINTAGE: An unusually dry winter and consistently moderate temperatures extended our growing season a bit longer than past vintages. It gave us an early budbreak and a long, even maturity that ended in September. Without the normal summer heat spells, most varietals came in with an elevated acid level and lower sugar. Fall came on cue in late October, and some big rains early on told us to finish up and bring in any hanging fruit. WINEMAKING: Finding the perfect Cabernet-Syrah blend can be tricky, but when you get it right, the result is an elegant wine layered in flavor and aroma, unlike anything else. In 2007 our winemaking team achieved this with a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon from our estate Lagomarsino Vineyard in the Russian River Valley and 20% Syrah from the vineyards surrounding our Visitor Center in Sonoma Valley. Though we often co-ferment the grapes for this wine in one tank, in 2007 we allowed the Cabernet and Syrah to fully express their unique characteristics by giving each its own tank. While the Cabernet took only ten days to ferment, the Syrah took fourteen. And, while the Cabernet underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel, the Syrah remained in tank another month to complete secondary fermentation. Each wine aged in barrel for twelve months, at which point the winemaking team performed rigorous blending trials to arrive at this exceptional final blend. The wine then went back to barrel for an additional six months to fuse together all the wonderful flavors. TASTING NOTES: This wine has a pretty bouquet, with notes of acacia flowers, blackberries and slight pepper. The palate is rich and full, coating with flavors of licorice, spice box and just a hint of tar and earth. Tannins on this wine are firm, and it will pair nicely with a hearty meal now or age in your cellar for years to come.