2012 Shea Vineyard Magnum
In the Vineyard
One of the first three brands to vineyard-designate Shea, we started sourcing fruit from this vineyard in 1996 from the original plantings of Block 1. Since those original vines succumbed to phyloxera, we have moved to an exclusive contract on Block 11. In 2012, our block was hanging a modest quantity of fruit at 2.5 tons per acre. It was harvested October 12. Chemistry performed after one day of cold soak came in at 24.9 brix (GLU/FRU). Ph levels were at 3.54 and TA at 5. The steady warmth of the 2012 growing season makes this vintage both muscular and structured. The long hang time allowed the grapes to retain a nice balance given all that sinew.
At the Winery
Grapes were 100-percent destemmed and cold soaked for seven days, then inoculated with William Selyem yeast strain. The wine fermented for 12 days before pressing off its skins and was allowed to settle in tank for two more days. After settling, the wine was racked into a blend of new and used French oak barrels crafted by coopers at Ermitage, Remond and Cadus. In the barrel for nine months, this wine took on 50 percent new oak intensity.
At the Table
Clear, bright garnet in color, the 2012 Shea aromatics include black cherry, crushed plum and that cherry cola note frequently found in Oregon Pinot. The palate is full and rich with fantastic structure. Notice the black tea notes and cedar bark? Wrapped up with a little red raspberry juice, this classic wine has fantastic depth through its very long finish. This vintage is enjoyable now alongside a variety of meals. One might consider pairings such as duck breast with a cherry coulis, or even slow cooked beef short ribs. This wine will only get better with age, enjoyable through the next decade.