Plush aromatics of dark plum and forest floor introduce a wine bursting with black cherry, mocha, and a hint of baked ham. On the palate there are hints of porcini mushroom and star anise, with an underlying tone of graphite minerality. Round, well-developed tannins and a plush mouthfeel lead the way to a long, velvety finish.
Two mountain ranges removed from the Pacific Ocean, Lake County is generally warmer and dryer than the neighboring counties of Sonoma or Napa. Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in California, is the heart and soul of the Lake County wine region and is responsible for creating a specialized “lake effect” by compressing temperature extremes in nearby vineyards. The Red Hills Lake County AVA is situated entirely within the Clear Lake AVA and at the foot of the dormant volcano Mount Konocti. The rolling terrain of this microregion contains a thin veil of red volcanic soil above a deep layer of fractured obsidian, striking a dramatic counterpoint to the wider valleys and higher elevations of Lake County’s other areas. Grapes were harvested from Amber Knolls Vineyard where the textbook conditions of 2,200-foot elevations, signature volcanic soil and a warm, dry climate were matched with Malbec Clone 4 on 110R rootstock in 2001. This 19-acre “all-star” planting produces small early-maturing vines that transform stress resulting from minimal irrigation into small berries and loose clusters with favorable high skin-tojuice ratios and advanced flavor development.