2008 Ventena Vineyards Le Mistral

Year: 2008
Appellation: Monterey County
Country: USA-California
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Enthusiast: 87
Red Wine
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"Rich and focused, with a complex array of roasted herb, espresso bean, supple berry, tar, spice and floral scents that are full-bodied, yet graceful and elegant, with the flavors fanning out nicely on the finish. Syrah, Grenache, Alicante Bouschet and Petite Sirah. Drink now through 2018. 1,003 cases made." (WS)

"A dry, peppery Rhône-style blend, not to be confused with Joseph Phelps’ old wine of the same name. The mouthfeel is rugged but rich, housing cherry, blackberry, currant and bacon flavors." (WE)

Winery Notes:
The 2008 Le Mistral is dark and savory with black fruit, dried herbs and white peppter. With a deep red color and intense character, it is spicy with complex layers of dark currant, licorice, red berry and a long lingering finish.

Blend and grape sources: 62% Syrah, 28% Grenache, 5% Alicante Bouschet, 5% Petitie Sirah. Estate-grown fruit from our Monterey County vineyard comprised 98% of the blend, with the balance supplied by independent growers.

Tasting Notes:
Grapes were harvested at an average of 25 degree brix, fermented in small batch stainless steel fermenters, and then aged for 17 months in a combination of new French Oak (40%) and two-year-old French Oak previously used for the Joseph Phelps Insignia (60%). Coopers include Francois Freres, Saint Martin, Sirugue, Saury and Ermitage.

Vineyard Notes:
Daytime temperatures in Montery County tend to be quite variable because of the wind. The temperature gradully rises during the day and peaks around 2pm every afternoon. Then the maritime influence of the Monterey Bay causes the wind to blow inland at 20 to 30 MPH, and it is not unusual for the temperature to cool by as much as 20F in less than an hour. The high heat spikes common to the Napa Valley do not normally occur in the Le Mistral vineyard.